Given the convenience it brings, online shopping continues to be the preferred method of acquiring products and services for a majority of people. Customers can also access numerous product reviews and gain access to discount-offering coupons. Yet, online shopping is not all glossy.
You must take steps to avoid hackers and online predators. There are certain dos and don’ts that you must observe. You will stay safe and avoid a breach of your security. Here are a few suggestions on measures to take when doing online shopping.
- Dos of Shopping Online
- Don’ts of Shopping Online
Dos of Shopping Online
Let’s start our list with the dos:
Do Check for a Picture of a Lock
A lock at the address bar on the site’s URL is an indicator of how secure it is. If it is your first time on the website, click on the lock to know more about its security. The lock does not just appear against the link to the website but also on the shopping cart. It simply means that the website sends out secure transmissions. You can open the link confidently, knowing that your information is protected from third-party sites.
Do Pay Using Credit Cards, Instead of Debit Cards
When shopping online, always consider using a credit card instead of a debit card. It is easier for hackers to access your bank account and wipe out your savings from a debit card. If anything were to happen to your credit card, you would get a $50 liability limit if you report the loss within two days. Any reports after two days, and you will be liable for $500. Despite these rules, credit cards are the best when it comes to shopping online.
Do Research Widely for Top Products
The first thing about online shopping is that you can find information about the products you want to buy through simple searches. Go to TopProducts.com and search for your preferred product. See the reviews and compare them for the perfect option – in terms of price and budget. Also, you can read online customer reviews to understand what other people are saying about the product. With online shopping, there is so much information that it will be easy for you to narrow down to a specific product.
Don’ts of Shopping Online
You now know the dos when shopping for products online. Let’s take a look at the don’ts:
Don’t Shop on Sites That Request To Store Credit Card Information
Some shoppers have fallen for the convenience that comes with storing their credit card information on an e-commerce site. That’s a big mistake. No website is hacker-proof. When hackers gain access to an e-commerce site, the first information they steal is customers’ credit card login credentials. They can then use this information to steal your hard-earned money. Enter your credit card information if you have to, make your purchase, and ensure you don’t leave it traces behind.
Don’t Always Wire Money to Merchants
Yes, It is something you should practice not to do often, especially when you don’t trust the seller. It doesn’t matter if it is an e-commerce site or an auction site. Money wired to a merchant can never be recovered, especially if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent. If you pay with a credit card, you can raise a dispute about the transactions and some refunds.
Don’t Always Trust Deals, Especially On Social Media Sites
There are many deals out there, especially those popping up on social media. No matter how enticing they might be, don’t always trust them. You have no way of telling if you are clicking on a link to a fraudulent or legitimate website. Chances of the link taking you to a website that will steal your information are very high. So, how can you take advantage of these deals? Divert to the retailer’s website and check if the deals are available there. If you find them, don’t hesitate to sign up.
Don’t Click on Email Links from Unknown People
It is convenient to reach e-commerce websites by clicking on email links. But that’s if you know who sent the email. If you don’t, then avoid clicking on email links no matter how legitimate they look. Fraudsters may send emails about reputable retailers to hoodwink you and steal your information. Steer clear from such links. The best you can do is use the name of the merchant to do Google search. That way, you will be able to find out if the deals on offer are legitimate.
Don’t Give Too Much Information
When shopping online, avoid giving out too much information. Some of the information you can comfortably provide includes your name, phone number, credit card number, and address. That is the bare minimum to ensure you remain protected while shopping online. As such, you should never reveal your social security number, driving license, and bank routing number. Sites that ask for that information may use it to defraud you.
When shopping online, you should be on the lookout for signs of fraudulent transactions. It doesn’t matter how long you have shopped online without a single incident. Anyone can fall prey to fraudsters. Bearing in mind the dos and don’ts discussed here is a good way to protect yourself. We are sure you have heard of other tricks and tips. Whatever it takes, don’t allow fraudulent retailers to take advantage of you. It has nothing to do with trust. Rather, it is about avoiding the pitfalls that come with online shopping.