Online shopping is a big business these days, with more and more consumers across the world turning to the World Wide Web to buy goods. This case is true in countries where e-commerce is really taking hold over the way people shop.

For all its convenience, online shopping comes with multiple risks as well. Although identity theft is more common in the real world, it still happens online pretty frequently, as does credit card fraud. With the risks involve, online shopping requires special precautions.

To protect yourself and your information, follow these steps before you typing in your credit card details and clicking “Buy”:

Use well-known websites

Always choose the trusted site than doing your shopping with a search engine. We all know Amazon.com and that it carries everything under the sun. Other major retail outlet has an online store too such as Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Beware misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (a .net instead of a .com)—those are the oldest tricks in the book.

Avoid too-good-to-be-true offers

Any e-store that promises too much at too low a price is suspicious. If the price is too low, consider whether the merchant came by the items legally, if you will ever receive the items you paid for, whether the items are actually the brand shown, or a cheap substitute, if the item will work, if you will be able to return damaged goods – or if the merchant is earning extra income by selling your financial information. Disreputable online stores may run an absurdly low price offer and then, claiming the item is out of stock, try to sell you something else in a classic “bait and switch” scam.

Use credit cards and secure payment services instead of debit cards

As a general rule, credit cards offer consumers additional protection when shopping online. The main advantage of a credit card account is in no way linked to whatever funds you actually own. Likewise, using secure online payment services, like that offered by PayPal, are advisable. The advantage with these providers is that they act as a kind of middle man, whereby you deliver payment to them and they then pass this onto the retailer. Your bank details always remain unseen.

Check for https URL and the padlock symbol

The https was developed by Netscape, which is an online safety protocol that encrypts information so that data can be kept private and protected. In most cases, the text in the URL is preceded by a padlock symbol. If this is missing, the website should be treated with caution. The ‘s’ in https incidentally, stands for secure. Websites that use https are safe because they utilise SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt any information that is distributed online, such as your credit card details.

Keep your shopping accounts secure with a password manager

Oftentimes, we do online purchases from multiple sites that specialize around a certain niche. But most people will simply reuse the same password for each account and that in itself is a major security risk.
However, a password manager like Dashlane or LastPass will greatly simplify and secure your login process, by helping you come up with more secure passwords and automatically introducing your login details.

Assess your statements often

To ensure that no unknown or fraudulent charges have been posted to your accounts, check your statements every month. If you see a charge that looks out of the ordinary, report it to your credit card company or financial institution immediately.

Review the company’s shipping terms

Some merchant’s charge exorbitant shipping fees that can turn a shopping bargain into expensive mistake. Look to see if they provide tracking and insurance. Understand what carriers they use, and be particularly cautious if the item would not be shipped within 10 days.

Avoid making purchases from public computers or hotspots

There it is easier for people to steal private information. However, if you must use public networks for online shopping use verified hotspots only and ensure no one gets a glance when you are typing in your private data. Hotspot shields increase the security level.

Check the seller’s customer satisfaction ratings

Other people’s experiences with the merchant that you are considering are often an excellent gauge of what to expect when you order. Review other user’s comments and check out the seller’s rating on sites like Google Shopping. Low “star” ratings may provide a red flag that cautions you to find a more reputable seller.

candicelarsonShopping&FashionAmazon,ecommerce,online shopping,shopping
Online shopping is a big business these days, with more and more consumers across the world turning to the World Wide Web to buy goods. This case is true in countries where e-commerce is really taking hold over the way people shop. For all its convenience, online shopping comes with...