Compared to the offline or the ordinary routine shopping, online shopping is much more convenient and cost-effective. But, it may not be safe all the time unless you take the following precautions before you step on sharing any of your credit card information with an e-commerce website. We have worked them out for you to stay safe while shopping online.
1. No need to trust every site, just the encrypted ones.
You may find a number of e-commerce sites around, but it never means that all of them are trustworthy and provide ideal conditions for safe online shopping or services. Before proceeding with any of them, just make sure the two things:
- Is it an encrypted website?
- Are you on a trusted Wi-Fi network?
In order to ensure safety for yourself regarding online services, do look for a padlock symbol on the URL bar of that very website like OmniView Tech or any other. You must also check for this symbol next to your Wi-Fi network name. Only then you must tell any information regarding your credit card, for now, your transactions will be on the safer end.
2. Share only the Optimal Personal Information
No e-commerce website requires your date of birth, your mother’s name, your social security number or any other irrelevant details. Just to-the-point information is enough. But, it is common with the fake sites to seek your personal information and then misuse it to damage you. Whenever a scammer attempts so, be vigilant about the red flag and never overshare with him.
3. Always Create Unique and Strong passwords and keep changing them
In a survey conducted with PCMag readers, it revealed that only 27 percent of people change their password a few times a year and 35 percent never like to do so even once a year. Develop a habit of changing it time and again to keep the hackers away. If you find it hectic or boring to do so, we will advise you to use a password manager to create untraceable passwords for you. You will even not have to keep it in your mind all the time. It will keep track of them and enter them on their own.
Also, try to set different passwords for different e-commerce sites. Otherwise, if your login info gets stolen on a website, all of your other accounts will also likely be hit.
4. Always look for the lock
All good and safe online shopping websites carry an SSL (secure socket layers) encryption installed. Such a secure site keeps its URL starting from https instead of just HTTP. Moreover, an icon of a locked padlock always appears to the left side of the URL or on the status bar down below the address bar. All the websites without the extra S now rank as “not secure” by Google Chrome.
So, it will be very wise to look if the page you are visiting is secured or not before putting in any personal or credit card information.
5. Verify the seller and his dream deals
Too good to be true is always suspicious. So, before you plunk down your credit card information, check for the authenticity and legitimacy regarding the luring offer of the seller. Go for the online reviews and if you get only the positive feedback, it must raise a flag in your mind about the status of the site.
Besides, you must check for the concrete address and a working phone number of the seller and call him at least once before you confirm the deal. All this cautiousness is just because the most common cybercrime complaint nowadays is about nondelivery or nonpayment. Sometimes, it is the reverse case like some bogus cardholder tries to cheat a merchant. If this is the case, it is time to get 3d secure that protects you against the issues afterward.
You must have reasonable information with you about where to contact in case you stick with issues after your purchase. All safe online shopping websites carry their toll-free customer service line and email address along with open refund and exchange policies readily available to the clients.
6. Keep a watchful and regular eye on your credit card statement
Wrong entries to the monthly bill of your credit card are not a big deal nowadays. Hidden or even fraudulent charges included in the monthly bills are being claimed more than quite often. These can be avoided only if you just remain vigilant about your credit card statement on a regular basis. No need to wait till the end of the month for the actual bill to be generated, you may rather check online electronic statements for your debit and credit cards as well as for your checking accounts. If you find anything wrong, just pick up the phone and deal with the issue then and there. Pay your credit card bill only when you satisfied with all the entries made there.
The abovementioned precautions, if taken carefully, can make you stay safe while shopping or providing services online.