As we all know, online shopping is nothing new but as its popularity continues to grow so does the malicious threats that can occur during your shopping experience. That is why we want to provide you with some reminders and tips on how to make you’re online shopping a safer experience. We also encourage you to share these tips with your family who may make online purchases too.
There are a few simple precautions you can take to further secure yourself before you make your online purchases. First make sure you have a web filter in place that will warn you of suspicious websites. Keep your web browsers up to date too. Often times the site you are shopping on is legitimate but if your computer is infected with keyloggers and other malicious viruses you can run the risk of your credit card data being stolen.
It is always best to shop at familiar websites but if you are looking at products or services from an unfamiliar sight do a little research before you begin; find out what other consumers have to say about the store or seller. Epinions.com and BizRate.com give customer evaluations that may help you determine the legitimacy of the company. It is also a good idea to review the website for the BBB and or TRUSTe approval icons. Be sure to click those icons to ensure that they take you to those accredited sites and that you can find the companies name within their listings. Often times harmful sights will display the graphic with no link so be aware.
Remember, before entering your personal data and credit card information check the connection of the website out to make sure it is encrypted. The URL will start with (http“s”) and also look for the padlock icon in the address bar or right corner of the window. Be aware of any warnings that your computer gives you regarding the security certificate of the site, when in doubt find somewhere else to shop.
Keep in mind when choosing a payment method it is always best to use PayPal if it is an option, that way your credit card and bank account information will not be shared with the merchants and sellers. PayPal will also protect you against fraudulent charges and if there are problems with your purchases. Once your purchases are made it’s always a good idea to check your bank accounts and credit card statements to ensure the proper amount was charged; if the charges are wrong contact the website where your purchases were made immediately along with calling your Credit Card Company to inquire about a “charge back”.
We hope that by keeping these tips in mind that you will continue to enjoy shopping online and are more secure in doing so.