Nowadays people are more and more confronted with online tricks and whether they browsed on the web, or they go shopping online, every time they are leery about everything they do. From credit card fraud to identity theft, it can be difficult to gain people’s trust on the different websites. How to recognize a secure online shopping website and to prevent unpleasant situations before they happen?
This article will explain some methods that you should follow to buy safely online.
General advice for a secure online experience: the basics are important
Before anything else we need to remember the basics:
- Check for contact details of the retailer before shopping online;
- Don’t forget to log out after each purchase;
- Don’t say all your personal data like social security number or your birthday. Online retailers generally do not need to know these details;
- Don’t send your credit card details via email, post them on social media, or any insecure websites.
HTTPS:// (instead of HTTP://)
When you are using a web page for online shopping that requires to enter personal data (without those mentioned above), first of all, check if the URL in the address bar of your browser starts with “HTTPS:// – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure” (instead of “HTTP://”). The final “s” means that a secure, encrypted connection is in place between your browser and the website you’re visiting. Their servers are using secure sockets layer (SSL), a standard security protocol that encrypts data and this SSL certificate are recognized by the icon of a locked padlock that will appear in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar.
Before making an online payment, usually, you will be asked for a password that will help you keep your personal data secure. Make sure you use a strong password that contains a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid making online purchases when you are in a public place. When you use a Wi-Fi in public, you cannot guarantee that the network is secure even if you have been given a password to use.
An important aspect that you should notice is security badges at the bottom of a website, hover your cursor over it. If it goes to where it purports, clicking it should initiate a pop up displaying the certificate and its verification information. The best-known badges are Norton, McAfee, VeriSign, GlobalSign etc., if it doesn’t display anything, the website you’re visiting is not legitimate and most likely not secure.
The use of credit cards
Credit cards give more protection than the debit ones. If the website you are accessing will provide the use of credit cards for payment then it is a good sign that they are legitimate, because they have to apply to the leading card issuing companies for approval. If they don’t have this payment option, it would be desirable not to make payments with debit cards on these websites.
Be cautious if you get requests via email from online retailers unless you have specifically subscribed to obtain information from them. These unsolicited emails come in most from “spoof sites”, sites designed to trick you into providing personal information by mimicking other sites you may do business with.
Suspiciously low prices
Indeed, it is very attractive to do business with low prices, but you should be more cautious with websites that are offering products at prices lower than the same products from other retailers. So be careful, check the online marketplace to compare prices, because there is also the reverse face of the coin when brand websites offer excessively high prices for the same quality products.
Without pop-up ads
Often when surfing websites we can encounter new browser windows that display advertisements. Be very careful when you click on ads like that, called pop-up ads. They don’t take you to a website at all, but rather to a fake operation designed to steal your personal information.
I believe it is the most common way of shopping products from websites. Testimonials from other customers about the product purchased are evidence of credibility in product quality and the importance of having it. The experience of other customers guarantees a social security proof of the website and, of course, it offers confidence in using these websites.
Thus follow these tips to end up a happy shopper and to take advantage of online shopping being at home in your pajamas.☺ “Follow your heart’s desires but take your brain with you”, this is a good advice from a person who has learned to never give up.