Online shopping is expedient. It comes with amazing perks like best prices, product comparison, home delivery, and cashless payments. But getting exciting deals online involves more than getting the lowest rates possible.
When shopping online, you will want to be sure the order is delivered on time, with the same expected quality, with a proper warranty, and most importantly protected personal and financial details during the transaction. There are no pickpockets in online shopping but there are so many ways bad guys can compromise your personal and sensitive information either to steal your money or to harm your repute.
Before you enter into the world of online shopping, you should take on the following savvy online shopping tips to not leave yourself at risk.
Always place orders from a secure connection
If there is no security software installed on your personal computer, your account passwords, and other financial information at always at risk whether stored on the computer or saved online.
Before you search for products and shop online, you should turn the computer’s firewall on and use a secure connection to carry out an activity online. Check the online retailers and stores for SSL certificates to make sure all your information is encrypted automatically so anybody outside cannot access your details and information. Don’t shop online using a public connection or try to use a VPN to keep your details private.
Always use a credit card to pay for products or services online
Whether you are looking to buy glasses online or order your favorite food online, always use your credit card or mobile payment solutions like PayPal instead of a debit card. Debit cards a linked to bank accounts and tend to have higher risks when hacked or details are compromised. Credit cards come with buyer protection and companies allow you to dispute wrong payments or charges anytime. Furthermore, credit card companies immediately reverse the transaction if a site or transaction is found fraudulent.
Outsmart email scams
Peak days like holidays and black Friday are the ideal time for scammers to send out viruses and malware to online users via fake email messages. They create emails that look like special offers or discounted deals and contain malicious links or attachments. So, don’t try to open such emails, links or sites you have not visited before. They also send SMS or make calls that require to verify your account or card and can take your personal details away for malicious purposes. Be careful about such scams and contact the authorities immediately to prevent fraud.
Don’t share more information than necessary to make the sale
Reliable eStores don’t require more information than a payment method, shipping address, contact number, and email address. If someone is asking for more, just walk away for another best option available. When buying online, don’t share sensitive information like social security number, bank account, or driving license number with online sellers as they don’t need such information to ship your products.
Put devices on lockdown
24/7 accessibility and availability are some of the known perks of online shopping. You can place an order online anytime anywhere. Whether you use your smartphone or laptop for placing an order, make sure your device has security software to help you prevent malware and viruses. Right after completing a transaction, log off your account and lock your device properly before you walk away. Also prevent your device from storing personal information like user name, password or credit card number, etc.
Beware amazing deals
Social media sites are full of ads with eye-popping offer that come with lower price. Most of them are scam and they just take your money away for nothing. That’s why, make sure to confirm the further details by visiting the retailer’s website or by making a call to customer support department. If an offer looks appealing and too good to be true, check customer reviews before you check out with your shopping cart.
Avoid sending money to anonymous individuals and always use company websites to place online orders. Comparing prices and features is also a great way to determine whether the offer is legitimate or a scam. Unexpectedly lower prices could be a red flag for online shoppers and they can gain access to your personal and professional information for malicious purposes.
Check statements regularly
Holidays and Black Friday are the busiest seasons of the year. Therefore, experts suggest online shoppers to check their statements on a regular basis to find out fraudulent charges or transactions on their online accounts or debit cards. If there is a notification about an unauthorized transactions or deductions, be quick to ask the concerns and get the statement right as soon as possible. In this way, you can prevent seasonal frauds to keep your money protected from criminals.
Read return policies
Going through retailer’s return policies is another best tip to stay safe and protected when buying stuff online. A return policy reveals that why, when and how products or goods can be returned. So, make sure to read and understand the return policies before you hit the check out button. It helps you a lot when purchased stuff is not the right fit as per your needs or are damaged or broken. As a result you can get the money back by sending products/goods to the seller as mentioned in the policies.
Whether you are a first-time buyer or a savvy online shopper, you should practice the above-mentioned online shopping safety tips to enjoy an excellent safe shopping experience. Knowing the current cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them is also a smart approach to stay safe while shopping online. It helps you make sure there is no room for security issues and threats.