Comparing prices online, finding the best deals, and having your packages delivered right to your door make online shopping convenient. Online, however, it’s more than just getting the cheapest deal. Make sure the products you order arrive on time, are of the quality you expect, include a proper warranty, and that you can return the products if necessary or get support if you have any questions or concerns. Use these tips to make your shopping online experience more secure.
Safe online shopping
1. Use a secure connection to place orders
Financial information and passwords (and all other data stored on your computer or done online) are at risk of being stolen if your computer is unprotected from malware. The idea is so obvious, but only a small portion of the U.S. population protects their computers adequately. Your computer’s firewall needs to be turned on so that you can use a secure connection.
In order for someone lurking outside of your house to collect your information when you shop online, you need your wireless network to be encrypted. If you are using a public network, avoid making any financial transactions, as you may not know whether it is secure.
2. Find out whether the merchant is reputable
Shop in an online store you know is very secure. You can always go to the local store if you have any issues, and you can be reassured of the site’s quality if you know other people who have had good experiences with it.
You may still be able to get a good deal even if you don’t know the store; you just have to be more cautious. By looking at e-store reviews on review sites, you can conduct your own background check. Don’t order from a store that doesn’t have reviews or doesn’t have good reviews.
3. Stay away from offers that seem too good to be true
An e-store that boasts too much at a very low price should be regarded with suspicion. Purchasing an item at a low price will require you to evaluate whether the vendor purchased the item legally, if the items will be delivered or if they are a cheap substitute, whether the goods work or if you are able to return damaged products, or if the vendor is selling your financial information to earn extra income. In a classic “bait and switch” scam, disreputable online stores show an absurdly low price at first and then claim the item is out of stock in an attempt to try to sell you something else.
4. Read the terms and conditions before you buy a Gift Card
Ensure the store is legitimate, that the recipient uses the store, and that there aren’t any unnecessary requirements.
5. Avoid e-commerce sites that require too much information.
6. Is a password required for the site? If so, make it unique.
When you purchase something, you will typically be asked to create an account and choose a password. If you don’t intend to use the e-store often, why create an account? Generally, this is not required. You should use a strong and unique password if you want an account.
7. How secure is the site?
Make sure the website address begins with an ‘s’ rather than an ‘http’ to verify security. If the website does not have that little ‘s’, you shouldn’t enter your personal or credit card information.
8. Use PayPal or a credit card
If you have a problem with a debit card or check, do not use them since they do not provide the same level of security.
If your financial information is stolen and your bank account is untouched, your liability for unauthorized charges resulting from credit card purchases is limited to $50. Generally, debit cards do not provide this type of protection – and even if they did, you would still have no funds at this point.
You might want to designate a credit card for online purchases only. So, in the event that the card is compromised, you can quickly shut it down without affecting any other transaction.
9. Verify the company’s shipping policies.
Purchasing something on a bargain deal may turn into an expensive mistake when merchants charge exorbitant shipping fees. Check whether tracking and insurance are provided. Be careful if they won’t ship within ten days, and be aware of what carriers they use.
10. Use a security program you can trust.
Using an effective internet security product will still keep you safe online. This includes online grocery shopping. Instead, with the increasing volume of online goods and data exchange, security features like real-time anti-phishing and anti-identity theft protection have become increasingly vital.
Also Read: Advantages of online gift shopping