There is a variety of reasons why you may want to shop online. You get lucrative bargains, widest possible range of choices to choose from, categorized catalogue, fast shipping, and even good returns. But, did you consider the safety of online shopping especially during peak season of shopping like Christmas, Valentineâ€™s Day etc. when online buying is ever more than other seasons of a year? No wonder during this time, the number of phishing and scamming websites with undistinguishable resemblance to genuine e-commerce stores grow in hundreds. Your personal and financial data bear the risk of being handed over to the wrong people. Hence, extra caution and knowledge on loopholes of online shopping is necessary for protecting yourself when online shopping.
Mentioned below are a few handy tips that you can put to use to ensure protection while shopping online:
Check for the lock
The first thing you need to check out for protecting yourself when online shopping is the website. Verify if the website is secure: there are two ways to ensure this. Press the â€˜Refreshâ€™ button. Internet browsers like Internet Explorer 8 highlights the address bar in green to show the website is safe. Secondly, if the address starts with https instead of http, it is safe to use the website. If the website does not have secure socket layer or SSL encryption installed, it will not be a good idea to transact with your credit card from such sites. You can also look for an icon showing a locked padlock at the end of the Internet browser.
Do not disclose all
A genuine online store will not ask you for private information such as social security numbers and birth information etc to process your purchase. To protect yourself when shopping online, it is imperative to be careful not to divulge such personal information. Fraud online stores may seek such information to do a lot of data manipulation to exploit your identity.
Use credit card
The safest mode of payment for protecting yourself when online shopping is using the credit card payment mode. According to the Lending Act, a consumer has zero liability while paying for unauthorized charges. Hence, if you report a fraud, your bank will reverse your charges. So, it is best to designate credit card to pay for all online purchases.
Before and after you order
You must be cautious before and after you place the order for protecting yourself when online shopping. Crosscheck the actual price of the product and the shipping charges for the product with other online stores to ensure shipping costs do not include any hidden costs. After you have placed a purchase order, do not reply to any confirmation mails that attempt to squeeze out unnecessary personal details. Also keep the prints of all your transaction records to support as evidences, when required.