The holiday season is the time most people looking for gifts for their loved ones shop online. Shopping online is fast and convenient.
It opens up a whole new world of merchandise and services for you and your family.
Here are 10 tips to help make sure you have a safe online shopping experience.
- Use the latest version of your preferred web browser. Ensure your computer has an up-to-date antivirus software.
- Don’t shop in public. Do your online shopping in the privacy of your own home using your personal computer.
- Know the name or reputation of any company you’re dealing with. Read reviews to learn what others are saying about the merchant.
- Trust your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable shopping on a particular website, don’t!
Know what information is from you and what they intend doing with the information. Find out if they are going to share your information with a third-party.
What are the terms for order cancellation and how will they handle any returns or complaints? If possible, print it out and keep a hard copy.
- Look for third-party seals of approval e.g. BBB and TRUSTe seals etc. These seals show if they abide by a set of rigorous standards such as how they use your personal information.
If you see the seals, click them to make sure they link to the organization that created them. Some merchants use these seals on their website without permission.
- Limit yourself to secure sites only. You can tell if a site is secure by the URL.
A secure website starts with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://. Secure sites will also have a small lock icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.
- Pay with a credit card. If possible use a particular credit card dedicated for your online shopping. Unlike Debit Cards, Credit Card gives you an extra level of protection.
It also gives you the right to “chargeback” if you feel you’re a victim of fraud. Your credit company will investigate your claim and remove fraudulent charges.
- Many shopping sites offer you the ability to save your credit card. But what if that website is hacked?
Your information would be open to unscrupulous persons. So don’t store your credit card information on the online store’s website.
- If anything goes wrong and you have an unsatisfactory shopping experience, contact the merchant.
Reputable merchants will try to resolve the issue. You can also contact your bank or credit card company, if applicable.
If you suspect a law broken, you may file a complaint with the relevant law enforcement agencies. If you still don’t find a solution, take your business elsewhere in the future.
Online shopping is safe and convenient but you must take steps to protect yourself.
Adopt best practices for using your credit cards and protecting yourself online.
Put these tips into practice. They will help you to have a pleasant and safe online shopping experience this holiday season.
Did you find these tips useful? If so, please click ‘Like’ on Facebook, Retweet on Twitter or give it a +1 on Google using the buttons below.
What topics do you want us to cover on this blog? We would love to hear from you. Place your comments below.