Convenience is the foremost reason why it’s the best time to do your shopping online. Shopping has never been easier for the consumers. Availability of options [materials, colors and sizes] and shipping is fast [you want it there tomorrow?]. Many items to buy and payment methods have likewise become easy. Even returns are standard options with most, if not all, online retailers.
But how do we keep the shopping experience to be mostly a great one?
We need to keep an eye, not only on bargains, but also on a few tell tale signs to watch out for.
Follow the basic guidelines below and shop online confidently. One simply has to keep some common sense and observe 5 practical tips to be safe and have fun while doing online shopping at the same time.
- Stay Close on the Familiar
Instead of clicking right away on the search button, start off on trusted sites first.
Just about anyone knows Amazon.com and what it offers [apparently almost everything that can be sold eh?] apart from familiarity it has earned a good housekeeping seal in terms of online buying and selling.
Most major brick and mortar retailers have an online presence with ecommerce possibilities. Target and Best Buy along with Home Depot why even Ikea.
Take note of those old tricks in the book–misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com). These impostors might look enticing, even believable, but that’s how they trick you into giving up your info.
- Lock the Lock
The sign is the SSL installed encryption. Make sure never to pay up with your plastic from sites devoid of secure sockets layer protection. If you visit bank portals, they add a letter in the HTTP configuration to signify security. Next to it will be a padlock icon bearing the sign of confidence in online transactions.
And please, never hand over your credit card information over emails. Even if the sender looks legit. Chances are the email address bails out the deceit.
- Shhh. Keep Quiet
To ensure confidence in your purchases against scam or fraud, keep personal information confidential. There should never be a need to hand over your social security number nor DOB to transact. God knows what can be bought using these private information along with the digits of your credit card.
Identity theft has been on the rise the past years and it’s been through technology too that it has made it easier for criminals to get hold of these sensitive information.
When in doubt, hesitate. As the cliche goes, better safe than sorry.
- Proactive Not Reactive
Are you the type who only checks the bill statements once every month, most likely close to its end?
Doing regular visits online and having a look in your bank statements may spell a big, big difference in terms of finding out any irregularities as regards your transactions. Security experts call this monitoring as a good habit to learn.
Trustworthy sites notwithstanding, check against your recollection of valid purchases. Odd instances like big ticket items, travels to destinations you don’t recall or from sites you’ve never visited are red flags.
Once you sense that there’s anything amiss, dial the hotline and get it addressed at the onset. Banks may charge you if they don’t get notified right off. Remember that if within 30 days of unquestioned statements, it’s an acknowledgment of it being correct, in statement and in form.
- Of Hardware and Software
Bright minds with bad intentions abound online and they don’t chew their fingers waiting for you to be unaware. Why, they even coast along and lurk behind the most sophisticated technology available. Hackers are getting better everyday, so should we.
Do your homework and make sure that your software side is updated. Anti virus, malware sweepers, anti keystroke logging programs need to be using the most recent versions. Any blind spots present make it vulnerable for your machine to be infiltrated and susceptible to attacks.
Convenience nowadays has a price to pay so make sure that we get our cake [or whatever it is we wanted to buy online] and keep it too!