Online shopping is a convenient way of buying things without physically going to the stores or mall. You don’t need to go out, still you can avail all of those tempting deals sitting on your comfortable couch. Returning stuff is also very easy through online shopping. If you want to buy gifts for someone, online shopping will give you a convenient way of delivering it to their doorstep. However if you are not careful enough you could become the victim of scam. So the following are some guidelines, which can help you to enjoy the advantages of online shopping without get worried about fraudsters.
Use Reputed as Well as Trusted Brands:
Make sure you are shopping from a website of a reputed brand name. You might have already visited their stores or known people who order stuff through this website on a regular basis. If you are well aware about this store then take some extra precautions, like doing some background check by visiting websites which post reviews of such online stores. Do not go for online stores which do not have any reviews posted anywhere.
Use Your Credit Cards, PayPal Instead of Debit Cards:
It is always safer to use Credit Cards for online shopping instead of debit cards. The reason is plain and simple. Debit Cards are always linked directly to your bank account which contains your hard earned money. So if anything goes wrong , your identity / profile gets compromised then you will be in deep trouble. However Credit Cards are never linked directly with bank accounts and there is always an upper limit up to which you can send using a Credit Card. So in the worst case scenario, the maximum monetary loss that you may incur is the credit limit of your credit card. It cannot go beyond that.
You also have the option of using other types of payment services like PayPal. The advantage is that PayPal shields your bank information from the retailer. So what ends up happening is that you pay to PayPal and then PayPal takes that payment and forwards it to the retailer. So all of your information is secured that way.
Never Disclose Your Private Information:
For shipping your stuff , shipping address, email id, telephone number, process of payment could be some of the usual quarries that a site can ask for. However when they start asking sensitive questions like your driver’s license details, bank information or social security number then do not waste any more time on that site, simply close that site. Make sure you are dealing with companies who respect your privacy.
Strong & Unique Password:
When the shopping site asks you to create a password or change your password, make sure your new password is strong enough. Don’t use anything which people can easily relate to you.
Use URL’s With Https and Padlock:
If a website address is preceded by https , then that means any information that gets passed onto this website over the internet is encrypted thereby ensuring that your information is secure and is not visible or accessible to any form of snooping.
All sensitive information is encrypted through a secure socket layer thereby ensuring its safety. Another thing to watch out for is the presence of a padlock symbol in the URL. If it is not present then that means you have to stay out of this website for good.
Be Wary of Excessive Low Offers:
Don’t get duped by jaw dropping low prices. If you are ordering through any shopping site which offers excessively low prices make sure you are dealing with them carefully. They might be showing you some good products, but what you actually get is something of a much inferior quality. Make sure you are aware of their return policy. There are chances that they might be earing money by distributing your private information. It has been seen that online stores that does not have a good brand name are the ones who offer impossibly low prices in an effort to lure you into the scams.
Always Read the Fine Print:
Sometimes merchants hide some extra costs like shipping charges. Make sure you have gone through all the fine print, before placing your order. Try to find some tracking number or insurance if the site offers such facilities. You must be aware of the courier they use and if you don’t get your stuff within 10 days then that should serve as a warning sign for you.
Never Use Public Computers:
Never indulge in online shopping in a public place or using a public WIFI. Doesn’t matter if you are using your own personal computer or laptop or any other gadgets. Ordering stuff by sitting in a café could be a risky option. When you are entering some of your personal details like card number etc. sitting in a public area, there might be people who will never hesitate to snoop on your information.
Be Careful While Buying Gift Cards:
Gift cards are a very popular item especially during holidays. Make sure you are using a good source while ordering gift cards. Sometimes frauds start to auction various gift cards with some luring offers on famous sites. However when you do get them, most of the time they are worthless or of very limited value.
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