Online shopping is convenient as it saves time, travel, and effort. However, the cyber world is replete with fraudsters intent on hacking your personal financial data. Keep yourself safe from them by following a few effective guidelines for secure online shopping.
Online shopping is very convenient as it saves plenty of time and travel. Some people opt to buy even clothes and footwear online. However, you need to be extra cautious about Internet financial transactions because of the threat of cyber crime and fraud. This article offers effective tips for secure online shopping.Better Safe than Sorry
You should shop only on the e-commerce websites of reputed companies and brands. Make the effort to glean the address and other contact information of the e-tailer from the site. This will help you to contact them in case of a disputed transaction.
Some sites offer cash on delivery which is preferable especially if you are new to online shopping. You can opt for this method of payment for small amounts. You can check the item personally at home and cancel the transaction if it is defective or of bad quality.
Extra charges like tax, delivery costs, etc are often hidden by the e-tailer. Find out the exact amount you need to pay for an item before you shell out the dough.
Identity theft is a real threat in the cyber world. Avoid giving unnecessary personal information like your social security number or date of birth for online transactions. Be careful about your personal details on other sites too.
Be aware of the cheating method known as phishing, which involves luring gullible users to a fake website that looks deceptively similar to the original shopping website. The information entered on this fake website is captured and used for fraudulent transactions.
You can avoid falling prey to phishing and other frauds by making sure the e-commerce website is secure, which is indicated by the padlock figure and ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ in the address bar. These details assure that your data is encrypted and the transaction is safe.
Buy and install a security suite with strong anti-virus and anti-malware features. The best security software offer protection against phishing and other dangers, and provide alerts about suspicious websites and downloads.
Use your credit card for online transactions instead of your debit card. This is advised because money is instantly withdrawn from your bank account when you use a debit card, and it can be hard to get a refund in case something goes wrong. You need to pay for credit card transactions much later, which gives you plenty of time to dispute a wrong transaction and avoid payment.
Some banks and credit card companies offer virtual cards that can be used only once. Other issuers provide the extra security of a password for transactions. Opt for these products and features to make your online transactions more secure and fool-proof.
Make the effort to create strong passwords that cannot be guessed easily. Use upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols in your passwords to make them extra secure.
Avoid banking and shopping on shared public computers as your data could easily be hacked and used. Carry out all online financial transactions only on your protected personal device.
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Check your bank account and card statements regularly to keep track of the expenditure. This will help you spot fraudulent transactions quickly and take remedial action immediately.
Do not fall prey to naiveté or greed when it comes to online shopping. Avoid websites that look suspicious or offer deals that seem too generous.
Keep yourself in the loop by reading about online fraud and cyber crime whenever you come across these news items. Enhance your knowledge about Internet security, and be extra careful about online financial transactions to protect your money in the big bad world wide web.