11 Safety Tips for Online Shopping

Do you love online shopping? Actually, you’re not the only one. Billions of people around the world have now switched to shopping online rather than go to the shops personally. With online shopping, what’s not to like? The selections are better and the prices are lower!

Aside from that, many feel that shopping online is safe, shipping doesn’t take that long and don’t charge that much and it gives huge profit to online sellers. Since there is an ongoing pandemic, most people want to avoid human interaction so shopping online in the comfort of their homes is considered convenient and secure. But, is it really?

Online Shopping Isn’t Always Safe

There are actually bad guys online who are involved in doing online crimes and victimizing people. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI, in 2019, the most number of crimes committed in at least 25 states was connected to online shopping. These crimes are either “no delivery of goods bought” or “no payment sent for items purchased online”.

Relax and calm yourself down. Although it sounds disturbing, these occurrences shouldn’t prevent you from doing your shopping online. All you have to do is be vigilant, add some common sense and listen to helpful advice. To ensure a safe and secure online shopping experience, here’s a guide you can follow.

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Only Use Trustworthy Websites – Shop only at well-known, familiar and trusted websites. Don’t immediately buy from the first search result you get from search engines because that may not be the most secure source. If you’ve already heard about the site or received good feedback from others, then it’s less likely to be unsafe. Some of the trusted or authority sites for online shopping are Amazon, eBay and others. However, other popular retailers also have their own online shopping sites like Home Depot, Target and Best Buy to name a few. That’s why you must double-check for wrong spellings or sites that use .net instead of .com, those are just some of the red flags to watch out for. The products displayed on these sites may seem appealing but catching your eye is just an easy way for these tricksters to get your personal and financial information.
Search for the Lock – One of the important online shopping tips and tricks you should keep in mind is to be on the lookout of the lock. Don’t ever use your credit card on sites that don’t have SSL on them. SSL or “secure sockets layer” keeps your information safe and secure through encryption. How do you identify sites with an SSL? Just find the “https” at the site URL on your browser but if it’s only an “http”, then better move on to the next site. Another identifier of a secure online shopping website is the “locked padlock” icon which you can find on the left side of the site URL or just below the status bar. It all depends on the type of browser you are using. HTTPS is now becoming the standard for almost all sites because if they don’t have it on their URL, Google Chrome will flag them. So if the website you are using has an HTTPS on its URL, then you are safe.