Bargains, shipping and no more walking around all day in crowded malls. These are the benefits that contemporary society seek out the most when it comes to shopping. The golden age of online shopping is here and gone are the days of standing in long lines and battling with returns.
All this is great, however, there are many scams out there that could spoil your entire online shopping experience. From phishing and being hacked to complete identity theft – the list of risks is quite long. Despite all these dreadful possibilities, there are great techniques that could help you make sure that you’re shopping safely on the internet. We’ve put together a few handy tips to consider next time you decide to go on an online shopping spree. Take a look below:
1. Make use of trusted sites
Do your research before making any purchases. Websites such as Takealot and Amazon are quite popular. However, be sure to read reviews to make sure that you’re spending your money responsibly. It’s also a good idea to stay in the loop with trends and business news that could assist you in making better electronic choices.
2. Check the Lock
You should know this by now, but if you don’t: NEVER purchase anything online, using a credit card, from a site which does not have a SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption system put in place. Always check that there is a padlock icon in the URL bar. It is also important to remember that sending someone your credit card details, via e-mail, is extremely dangerous. When making payments, it is also best to utilise the PayPal service.
3. Security comes first
Always use very strong passwords, make sure to shop in a safe environment and be aware that there are crooks out there waiting to snoop through your details.
4. Spring clean your PC
Protect yourself and your electronic devices, such as your laptop, smartphone or tablet, from nasty malware and viruses. Hackers use these tools to get hold of credit card details and identity numbers. Make sure that you’ve installed anti-virus software and that you do not merely open any emails that are marked as ‘spam’. These could contain viruses that will contaminate your device and transport your details and passwords to bad guys looking to make a quick buck.
5. Don’t be naive
You need to learn when something seems too good to be possible. Always be sceptical of anything you read or receive online. The word ‘sale’ can be very deceiving. So be careful of what you purchase (product images can be fake) and always make enquiries first. Also, under no circumstances is it ever okay to give out your I.D. number online. If a site requires this, it’s most likely to be a scam.