Online Shopping Safety Security Tips and Advice: Online shopping is a quick, convenient wayto buy almost any product you could possibly imagine. While there are some risks shoppingthis way, if you know how to identify a secure online store, and how to protect yourself,you should be able to shop with confidence. To have the best possible experience buyingonline, there are a few important things to remember – and it all starts with your computerat home. Making sure your computer’s operating systemand Internet browser are up to date, and installing some good malware-protection software, isyour first line of defense against viruses, malware, or fraudulent activity.
To further protect sensitive information likecredit card numbers, your best bet is to shop from home; avoid using public wifi or publicPCs, like library computers. If you’ve purchased products online before,you’re probably familiar with some of the larger retailers like Amazon or Ebay. Thesesites have become so popular in part because they have earned a good reputation for protectingtheir customers’ personal information. With sites like these, there’s less to worryabout in general. However, there may be a time when you findthat the hunt for a rare or specific item has taken you off the beaten path in the onlinemarketplace.
If you find yourself shopping on an unfamiliarsite, make sure to look for https://, and the padlock symbol in the address bar. Thesethings indicate that the site is SSL encrypted, which means it provides the security necessaryto better protect your personal information. And always be sure to make note of phone numbersand physical addresses so you know how to make contact in case there’s a problem withyour transaction. It’s also a good idea to do some researchon what you’re buying and who you’re buying from. If you’re tempted to buy something froman online store you’ve never shopped with before, take a minute to do a quick searchto see if you can find any reviews.
No matter what site you’re shopping on,whenever you log in with an online retailer, you want to make sure your passwords are strong,long, and different for every site you shop with. This will make it harder for your accountto be hacked, further protecting your privacy. Once you’re ready to purchase something,there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safe payment options. Credit cardsare generally your safest option… …Or you can also use an online payment servicelike PayPal or Google Wallet. These services keep your credit card information stored ona secure server, allowing you to make purchases through them without revealing sensitive informationto retailers.
After you’ve made a purchase, print or saverecords of the transaction. Keeping a paper trail of your purchase will be valuable inthe event that you have to dispute anything later. Above all else, remember to never send cashthrough the mail, use a money wiring service, give out your social security number, or sendyour credit card information over email. Legitimate retailers will never ask for this, and ifone does, it’s pretty much a sure-fire indication that you’re about to be scammed. In the end, use your common sense, and trustyour gut. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if anything seems suspicious,don’t make the purchase.