If you love shopping, there’s a good chance you have bought something online at least once in your life. And why wouldn’t you? Online shopping has been a boon to many shoppers. There’s no shortage of deals, perks, and offers.
You can buy almost anything online, and whatever you decide to buy can be shipped to you in a matter of days. And if you’re not satisfied for whatever reason, you can also return the item without any fuss.
So, whether you are looking to do something as simple as buying a new pair of shoes or planning to apply for a car loan online, you can do all this and more without leaving the house.
With all these benefits and convenience that online shopping brings, there are also some risks involved as well. And the last thing you want to happen is to have things like your financial details or your identity stolen by unscrupulous individuals.
Here are simple ways you can protect yourself and ensure you have a safe experience when shopping online.
Always do your research.
Most people who are looking for bargains often check out marketplaces like eBay or something similar. Before you buy anything, it’s a good idea to put in a little effort. Check out the online sellers’ reputation and their read reviews so you’ll have an idea about past customers’ experience.
Moreover, don’t hesitate to ask questions and take the time to read important details such as product information, the condition of an item if it is sold as new or used, shipping details, the seller’s location, return or refund policies, among others.
Beware of phishing scams.
Whenever you receive an email or a text message, be sure to examine them carefully. Some emails you may receive are fake and are meant to steal your personal data. These emails may even look legit because they are designed really well and seem like almost the real thing.
However, always think multiple times before you click on a link or if you are asked to type in financial or personal information on online forms. You can always call your bank or any establishment to confirm if this email or text message you received is authentic or not.
Look for secure websites.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to protect yourself from malicious sites or hackers. Whenever you are visiting a website, always check to see if there is a little padlock icon in the upper left corner of your browser’s address bar.
Also, check the URL if it starts with https://, which means it’s more secure than sites that start with just http://. Another thing you should watch for is sites that have SSL or Secure Socket Layer, which means the website uses technologies that encrypt data during transmission.
Don’t shop using public computers.
This tip is simple but essential. When you plan to shop online, it’s best to do it at home. Aside from the convenience, you’ll have control over your own computer. You’ll know if there are other people who might be using it.
On the other hand, if you use a public computer, you have no clue what software is installed on it. Hackers can easily use spyware that can capture your data or hide computer viruses that capture what you type on the keyboard. You can’t also guarantee if the network or internet connection is secure or not.
Don’t be lazy with your passwords.
We all know how difficult it is to remember complex passwords. However, if you use passwords that are easy to guess like password1234, you are putting yourself at great risk. Using a strong password is one of the most basic but effective ways to protect yourself online. And of course, never ever share your password with anyone.
When you shop online, be careful if the offers are too good to be true. It pays to closely examine important details like the website’s URL or a sender’s email address, and always verify especially if you are being asked to submit any sensitive data or financial information in online forms.
Do you have your own tips to share? Have you done any online shopping recently? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you. Please share them with us by leaving a comment so that others may also benefit.