Tips For A Safe, Online Shopping Experience
Online shopping, despite its risks, is a fast and convenient way for customers to shop. With the
numerous products and services found online, there is no denying that online shopping has
brought a different meaning to the term, “shopping”. Now, hours of searching and walking
around the mall and waiting in long lines are now things of the past. However, online shoppers
need to be smart consumers and make the most out of its advantages by knowing how to
protect your privacy, scoring the best deals and learning how to deal with frauds, identity theft
and unsatisfactory purchases. Listed below are some of the most effective tips for online
1. Make sure that when online shopping, your computer is safe. Install a good antivirus and
make sure that browser and security updates are up-to-date to avoid intruders from entering
your system and to properly address bugs and potential security risks you might encounter
2. One important safety tip for online shoppers is to never ever use a public computer to
purchase stuff online. If you forget to log out, subsequent users can make use of your credit
card information or even if you do log out, skilled hackers may track down the information you
have used and use it for fraudulent activities.
3. Use a credit card instead of a debit card when making purchases online. If you are wondering
why credit cards are much safer to use, the reason is this: when you use your credit card and
have noticed any fraudulent activity, calling your bank to cancel your account will stop the culprit
from making purchases and will assure you that you will not be losing any money. On the other
hand, if you use your debit card, even if you report it to your respective bank, chances are, you
have already lost, if not all, some amount of money. That is why it is very important to monitor
your credit, check your credit scores and review your credit report regularly to immediately see if
there are unnecessary and unknown purchases. Aside from being safe by using your credit
cards, credit card holders have the benefit of paying in installment with 0 interest, making
budget planning much easier.
4. Always check the reputation of the site you wish to transact with. This is a surefire way to
ensure your safety while online shopping. Usually, websites with good backgrounds have a high
trust rating indicated on the upper corner or beside the name of the seller.
5. If in any case, the item you want is being sold by an unfamiliar website, research about their
reputation at shopping community forums. People in shopping forums are honest and helpful.
Furthermore, if you found the website through clicking on an unfamiliar email or on an email you
found in your spam folder, do not transact with them, as they are most likely a phishing scam
with the intent to get a hold of your financial information.
6. Online budget shopping is easy because once you search for the item that you like, all of the
sellers with that item would be listed altogether, unlike when in the mall where you have to walk
around for hours searching for a similar product. Therefore, make sure that you compare the
prices of the items that you like because all sellers would have different selling prices.
Moreover, extend your comparison by checking out how much shipping fee they charge. You
might find that some sellers sell the item for a higher price but charge no shipping fee making
the item actually cheaper.
7. When checking out if the website you wish to purchase from transacts securely, go through
the processes of making a purchase without actually clicking the final button. This way, you will
be able to check the browser’s address bar. If the URL starts with https with a padlock icon
instead of http only, this means that the website is secure.
8. Do not auto save your credit card or debit card information even if you are using your own
personal computer. You will never know what kind of maneuvers hackers have manufactured.
9. Always logout of any merchant site when you’re done online shopping and delete your
browsing history to avoid any traces of your financial transactions. This might seem unlikely but
computers and laptops do get stolen.
Online shopping is definitely a fun way to shop. However, do not forget the risks that you might
put yourself at if you do not keep in mind the mentioned safety tips for online shopping. Get the
most out of your shopping experience by protecting you and your computer.
Joy is an active blogger who shares extremely interesting finance management tips over the
web that encourages people to manage their personal finances & to check credit scores
regularly. Know more on how to protect yourself from online identity theft.