6 Smart Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Online shopping is convenient, budget-friendly and safe—as long as you’re mindful with the precautions before making a purchase. Keep these five smart online shopping tips in mind before sharing any of your information with an e-commerce site.
- Only Use Familiar Websites
Sticking with popular online shopping sites does not only guarantee the quality of the product, but you’ll also feel more confident that these established names are using robust security measures. However, be extra cautious as fraudsters can create fake and professional-looking sites just to lure in unsuspecting consumers.
- Use Credit Cards Instead of Debit Cards
Generally, credit cards, compared to debit cards, offer more protection when it comes to online shopping. Unlike debit cards, credit cards have limit on the monetary amount you need to pay, in case your information is used by someone else. Likewise, using reputable online payment services, like PayPal, are advisable. The advantage of these providers is that they act as middle man, whereby you give your payment to them, and then they pass it onto the retailer, making sure that your bank details are kept private.
- Look for the ‘https’ and Padlock Symbol
The ‘https’ is an online safety protocol that encrypts data, so they remain protected and private. In most instances, https is preceded by a padlock symbol. If the padlock symbol is missing, the website should be used with caution. Websites with https are safe because they use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to protect any information provided online, such as your bank details.
- Use Your Mobile Data Network Instead of Public Wi-Fi
From cafes to malls, being able to access the internet with little to no cost is in favour with our technological way of living. However, when shopping online, the convenience brought about by public Wi-Fi can be overshadowed by the risks associated with this public service. These networks usually lack security features, which can jeopardize all your private information.
- Limit the Information You Provide
No online shop needs your social security number and your other bank account numbers. However, if swindlers get a hold of them, combined by your credit card number, it’s easy for them to do a lot of damage. The more information they know, the easier it is to do their crime. When possible, default to sharing the least amount of personal data.
- Check Your Statements Regularly
Do not wait for your credit card bill to arrive before you start checking. Go online at least once a week and check for your debit card, credit card and checking account. Go through them and make sure there are no fraudulent charges. If there’s something wrong, call your bank right away. In the case of credit card holders, pay your bill once you’ve confirmed that all charges are legit.
There are plenty of solutions for safe online shopping. But in general, opt for reputable websites and limit the information you provide online.