Tips for safe online shopping

Tips for safe online shopping

There are many reasons why people shop for things online: convenience, bargains, and fast shipping. However, you need to be wary of the bad people who lay in wait: thieves who attempt to swindle your sign-in details or credit card information out of you by pretending to be a real website.

Here are some tips that will come in handy when shopping online:

Use familiar websites

You should opt for a trusted site instead of shopping via a search engine. The results on a search engine page can be rigged to mislead you, especially after the first few pages. If you shop from a site that you know, you are less likely to be ripped off.

You should first try Amazon because it is a popular site. It sells everything under the sun and almost every major retail outlet has a store. However, you should avoid sites that have misspellings or use a different top-level domain – such as .net instead of .com – to fool you.

Although the sales on such sites look enticing, you might end up being swindled.Look for the lock

You should not use your credit card to buy anything from a site that lacks the SSL (secure socket layer) encryption. To know whether a site has SSL, make sure that its URL starts with https:// instead of http://. You should see an icon with a padlock next to the address bar or the status bar at the bottom of your browser.

Do not disclose everything

Online shopping stores do not need your birthday or social security number to conduct business. However, if unscrupulous people get their hands on this information as well as your credit card number, they can really do some damage. The more a crook knows about you, the easier it will be to steal your identity.

When possible, you should give up as little information as possible when buying things online.

Check statements

You should not wait for your bill to come in at the end of the month, make sure that you go online regularly and check your electronic statements as well as accounts. If you see any fraudulent charges originating from websites such as PayPal, you should look into it.

If you notice something wrong, you should make a few calls and deal with the issue quickly. When it comes to credit cards, you should only pay your bills once you verify the accuracy of the charges. Remember that you only have thirty days to let the card issuing company know about the problem.

Protect your computer

Tips for safe online shopping

Swindlers do not just sit around waiting for people to give them data; they might give you a bit of information to speed things along. To protect your computer from malware, you should update your antivirus program regularly. You can find a free program to protect your information from swindlers.

Use strong passwords

Although you probably know that you should use strong passwords that nobody can crack, you should be especially careful when shopping online. Whether you want to buy a Lab fume hood or a jacket, you should use a different password for each site that you visit – this will make it less predictable and harder to guess.

Avoid public terminals

Using public terminals to make a purchase is a very bad idea. If you must use a public computer, make sure that you log out each time and clear the cookies. When using your laptop in a public place, you risk giving out sensitive information to strangers. If possible, you should sit in the back and face the door to avoid over-the-shoulder peaks.

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