Is online shopping safe?
The answer to that question depends on which company you are purchasing from. In the matter of just a month, billions of dollars will be spent on Ecommerce. What this means for you is an unprecedented amount of convenience is available when it comes to purchasing goods or services, but also that there will be scammers looking to take advantage of it.
When it comes to safe online shopping, there are a few different ways to make sure that your money is going exactly where you are led to believe it is. Safe online shopping has a list of benefits which seems to never end, such as unbelievable bargains, a dizzying variety of selection, fast shipping, and ease of purchase. Safety online can be guaranteed if you know what to look for in an online vendor.
The Ecrime report of 2011 has indicated that cyber thieves who take your credit card information without providing the merchandise promised has gone down, but safety online is still at risk, considering that phishing has not been completely eradicated. Safe online shopping can be ensured by following this list I have compiled…
1. Familiarity of Websites. The amount of online shopping risks can be decreased by using websites such as Amazon or Target. But, if you wish to pursue safe online shopping with a lesser known company, be on the lookout for misspellings in the URL, as well as websites which end in .net, as opposed to .com. Also, a simple scan of a website can be a giveaway. Illegitimate websites will often look just as illegitimate as they are. Safe online shopping is much more likely when a website is of high quality, and professionally developed.
2. Lock Down. It is never a good idea to buy anything from a website that does not include SSL (Security Systems Layer) encryption. One sign that safe online shopping is provided by a website is if the http part of the link ends with an “s,” making it https. Such sites will also bring up (on most browsers) an icon of a locked padlock in the address bar.
3. Be Stingy with Information. Never (I emphasize again, never!) does a business need your social security number or date of birth to complete a transaction. If the website you are considering giving your business to asks for either of these pieces of information, safe online shopping is not likely to be provided. Criminals can use this information (along with credit card info) to steal your identity.
4. Statements. Check your credit card statements regularly after completing an online transaction. Waiting until the end of the month can result in finding all sorts of charges you were unaware of if you have been ripped off. If there are any questionable charges on your bill, do not hesitate. Pick up the phone immediately and get to the bottom of these mysterious payments. Safe online shopping requires your direct involvement.
5. Strengthen Your Passwords. Making creative, highly personal passwords is one longstanding, fool proof way to make sure safe online shopping occurs. Create a password that is as uncrackable as possible. Also, changing your passwords regularly is recommended by most Ecommerce experts.