Shopping online has become a regular part of many people’s lives, and rightly so. It’s convenient, available 24 hours a day, and you don’t have to waste time driving to the shop, searching for parking and standing in the queue. The selection is much bigger than at your average store, and you can buy whatever you want at the click of a button, without even putting on shoes.
Online security continues to advance, so there’s no need to be overly concerned about safety. Think of it this way – you’re already safer since there’s no need for you to draw and walk around with cash, or risk having your wallet stolen in a crowded shopping centre. Also, you never hand your card details over to another person.
So as long as you use some common sense and follow these tips, you’ll keep your online shopping a safe and secure experience.
Tips for safe online shopping:
#1 Do not use a public computer to shop online
If you are using a public computer, strangers may be able to access your browsing history and even your login information. To protect yourself, do all of your online shopping from your secure home computer.
#2 Only use a secure connection when you place your order
Never shop using an unsecured wireless network because hackers can access your payment information if the network is not protected.
#3 Use strong passwords
Choose passwords that are at least 10 characters long consisting of a combination of numbers, letters and symbols. Remember to keep your passwords private and don’t set your computer to remember your credit card number or password when you create an account on an online shopping site.
#4 Look for the lock
Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.
#5 Never give out your credit card number over email
It’s simple: Legitimate retailers will NEVER ask for your credit card information or other sensitive personal details over email. Also, you should never have to reveal your ID number to an online shopping site.
#6 Take care when entering information
Be sure to enter the correct details when typing in your order. Always review the information before pressing send.
#7 Keep a paper trail
Always print out and keep a copy of your transaction, or take a screenshot and save it on your computer.
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