The internet has changed the way many of us shop. We are no longer limited to location, geography or perhaps time. We can now quickly search for items from all over the world, any time of day and from the comfort of our houses. Having said that, while it may look like online shopping is now a huge part of our lives now, a lot of shopping is carried out offline. Nonetheless, there are positives and minuses to shopping online.
While you may already be good at purchasing stuff on the web, listed here are several suggestions to guide you as you shop online.
1. Learn to identify a secure website transaction.
Reputable online merchants use payment processing systems that automatically encrypt confidential data such as credit card numbers, making such information virtually impossible to steal. Fortunately, when you’re shopping online, it’s easy to tell whether or not your particular transaction is being processed securely
Once you get ready to check out, two things should happen. The first is that the beginning of the website’s Internet address (URL) should change from HTTP:// to Https://. That “s” indicates that this section of the website is secure. (Don’t worry if you don’t see the “s” while you’re still shopping and adding items to your online shopping cart. The transaction doesn’t need to be secured until you’re getting ready to check out and enter payment and personal information.)
If you are using Internet Explorer, you are supposed to see a padlock image on the right side of the Internet Address bar
2. Shop from reputable merchants.
Knowing that a transaction is secure is one thing; knowing that the site’s owners can be trusted is something else entirely. Choosing when to trust a website depends on in part on who publishes the website, what information they want, and what you want from the site.
Look for well-known and respected online retailers such as Amazon.com or online versions of companies you already know and trust. Websites that are certified by Internet trust organizations such as TRUSTe, BBB Online, and Web Trust are preferable, as well, since they promise to protect your privacy and not to use information in certain ways without your permission.
You should be aware of websites that ask for personal information such as credit card numbers or bank information before they logically need it, and of sites that do not reveal phone numbers, email addresses or other ways to reach them for customer support.
3. Use a credit card for online shopping.
A credit card is taken to be much safer than a debit card when shopping online since you are protected by provisions of the Fair Credit Billing Act and since you can also dispute charges with the credit card company if you suspect a fraudulent transaction. For extra peace of mind, consider using a separate credit card for online shopping and monitor it carefully.
4. Don’t save credit card numbers or personal information in any online store account.
Many online vendors ask you to create accounts so that it’s easier for them to notify you of special offers. That’s fine if you are interested, but resist the lure of “convenience” by having them save your credit card information as well. It is better for a few people to have access to such confidential information.
5. Use a separate email address.
Guard your privacy by using a separate, free email account for your online activity. If you are inundated with email or spammers get a hold of your email address, it’s easy to discard the “freebie” email address and get a new one. You should also be careful of your password details. You might have decided to make use of an online password manager to make sure your passwords are safe. Also try to use strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed by anyone(mixture of all characters and long).
6. Keep all receipts.
When you shop online, you’ll receive order confirmation messages and receipts via email. Double-check them for accuracy, and keep them – in a separate folder in your Inbox, perhaps – until you are certain that the order was processed correctly and that you will not need to return anything.
7. Trust your instincts.
If you are not sure of a website – if something strikes you as too good to be true, if the site seems unprofessional or downright pushy – just don’t order from that merchant. With the millions of retailers available online, there’s sure to be someone more reputable who has what you’d like to order – and they are only a click away!
8. Buy only the product you are interested in.
When you have found the product, decided decision that you are sure you want to buy it and checked that the reviews are all positive then the next step is to locate the cheapest site to buy it from. There are loads of sites that have been created solely as price comparison sites. You can go to these sites, search for items, and you will be shown a list of all the sites that sell it and the cost. You can also check out 10 Greatest to search the products you want. Sometimes they do not always show a complete list of sellers so you may need to do some further research yourself. When you have found the cheapest place, then feel free to buy it! One cost to consider though is postage and packaging. You might say that when you add postage and packaging to the cost, it might be more expensive than another option.Furthermore, be careful where you are buying from. If you import from a different country, you might need to pay import tax.
Never fear when for shopping online for emergencies as the internet is the perfect solution. And with the holiday shopping season nearly upon us, it’s an excellent time for a refresher course in online shopping safety. Shopping online is no more dangerous than shopping at the local mall if you know what you’re doing – and it’s a lot easier to find a parking space!No one can guarantee that every Internet shopping transaction will be problem-free, but adopting the previous commonsense strategies will make it highly unlikely that you’ll be the victim of cyber fraud.