There are a number of benefits of buying online. It won’t be wrong to say that no physical store can match the selection available in online stores. Also, online stores are able to offer huge discounts as they do not have the costs that the brick and mortar stores have to pay. Also, the advances in technology ensure that online shopping is secure.
Online retailers have also made sure that the items ordered online are shipped fast and reach consumers within a few days. The returns are also not an issue as most of the retailers offer free returns.
This is the reason that e-commerce has been growing at a very fast pace and is predicted to overtake brick and mortar shopping in the coming years. The whole online shopping process has been so streamlined by the e-commerce players that everything is extremely easy. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that nothing can match the convenience offered by online shopping.
However, this does not mean that everything is fine with online shopping. With the rising popularity of online shopping, criminals have also targeted consumers as well as retailers in various ways. In fact, the attacks by these criminals have been growing in sophistication as well as in numbers.
Thankfully, the good guys have also fought hard against these criminals to make sure that online shopping remains secure and safe for everyone. While there have been a lot of threats to online shopping, there are a number of things you can do to shop safely online.
Here are some safety buying tips online that will help you in keeping your identity and credit safe and secure while shopping online…
One of the most important rules of staying safe while shopping online is to shop only at familiar and trusted websites. Many people start their online shopping by searching for the products or services they want to buy. The problem with search engines is that they can sometimes lead visitors to infected sites. While major search engines such as Google and Bing have been quite successful in warning consumers about the websites with malicious code, the truth is that they are not able to keep consumers safe 100% of the time.
This is the reason that experts recommend going directly to your favorite website and shop there. This is especially true if you are unable to find a reliable website for the products you want in the first few pages of the results. There are a number of well-known online retailers that carry almost everything under the sun and at a discounted price.
Some of the criminals also use misspellings of sites to rake in visitors. So, pay attention to the URL in the web browser before you start doing any activity on a shopping website. These criminals copy the complete look of various familiar websites to trick the consumers into giving up their info.
All the websites where online shopping happens, encryption in the form of secured sockets layer is used. This is the technology used by banks for doing transactions in a safe environment online. All the shopping websites have this technology installed and this technology ensures that the communication between your web browser and the shopping website is completely secure and cannot be listened in to by anyone else.
The best way to figure out whether a site uses SSL is to look at the beginning of the URL. Any website that uses SSL starts with HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. A padlock will also appear in the status bar or in the address bar depending on the browser you are using for the shopping. In simple terms, you should not give any personal information on a website that does not use SSL.
While online shopping websites do take all the care in the world to keep the details of their customers save, there have been many cases online in the recent years where hackers have successfully hacked into the database of retailers and release the details of their customers including Social Security numbers, names, credit card numbers and other such important things.
Therefore, you should give the least amount of information that is necessary for shopping to the online websites. If hackers get their hands on your Social Security details and other things, they can combine that with your credit card number and steal your identity. Therefore, it is best to reveal as least as possible to the websites online.
Another important step you can take to keep yourself safe online is to check your electronic statements for debit cards, checking accounts and credit cards on a regular basis. This will help you in keeping sure that you are only paying for things that you have personally ordered. Many people have the habit of checking their statements only when payments are due. However, such a delay in checking the details of shopping means that the retailers or payment processors are not able to help you.
So, when you notice something wrong in your statement, you should get in touch with the bank or payment processor immediately and ask them to reverse the charges. Most of the credit cards and banks allow you to notify them within 30 days of the charges appearing on the statement but if you take more than 30 days, you will have to pay the charges out of your own pocket. This is the reason that experts recommend checking your statements at least once a week to make sure that it only contains things that you personally ordered.
While the websites of online retailers are definitely at risk as hackers are always trying to find loopholes to get into those websites, they also try to target consumers by compromising their computers. Computers are compromised in a number of ways, such as by setting up malware on websites which is then downloaded into the computer and infect the computer.
The best way to keep your computer safe is to invest in high-quality antivirus software that prevents downloading of any malicious virus on your computer. There are a number of high quality antivirus software available in the market for a minimal fee. If you do not want to pay for an antivirus software, you can always install a free antivirus as something is always better than nothing.
Another important factor in maintaining safety online is password. While most of the online shopping sites and all the other sites where money is involved make sure that users use strong passwords, there are times when users tend to use easy passwords. Another important thing for you to keep in mind is that you should use different passwords for different websites.
Many people make the mistake of using the same password for all their accounts, including their e-mail and all the other things. If you have been having problems in creating a strong password, you should get a password manager. There are a number of reputable password managers that are available for free online in the form of a browser add-on. These add-pns not only create complex passwords for your accounts but also remember them.
Mobile shopping has been gaining popularity at a fast pace. In fact, it has recently been pointed out that more people connect to the Internet using their mobile phones instead of desktop or other devices. Online shopping is also slowly shifting to mobile. However, the dangers of shopping online exist in mobile world also. Therefore, while shopping on mobile, it is recommended to use official apps from the retailers instead of using other apps.
You should never use a public computer for online shopping. However, the truth is that many people still make this avoidable mistake. In case you have to use a public terminal for accessing your e-mail or other such sensitive transactions, make sure that you are logged out of the computer once you are done. Also make sure that nobody is looking over your shoulder when you are typing in your password and other sensitive details to ensure that the details remain safe.
It is also important that you should not use free Wi-Fi connections for doing your shopping. While free Wi-Fi networks are good for browsing online, these free networks are also vulnerable to man in the middle attacks. So, when you get free Wi-Fi connection, do not use that connection to make purchases online or for any kind of banking transactions. Stick to your home computer or your office computer for doing online shopping and for banking transactions.
One of the most common scams that make the rounds during the holidays is the offer of free gadgets or free holidays. However, keep in mind that most of these offers are nothing but spam and viruses. So, stay away from such offers during the holidays.
Overall, these tips should serve you well and keep you safe while shopping online. You can stay safe online and enjoy the online shopping experience if you keep your computer updated and make sure that you use only trusted retailers for purchases and use only your own computer for online transactions.
Simply stick to the guidelines we provided here and you should enjoy your online shopping experience as everyone else!
We hope that this short guide for safe online shopping experience was helpful for you. If you think that we should add anything else here just let us know 🙂
the Shaw-Review.com Team