Online shopping is pretty famous nowadays. Especially in this COVID-19 outbreak, people are at home, people are avoiding crowds, so it is the best way to shop for now. Why is everyone using online shopping nowadays? Well, the answer is very simple and practical, you get the things you need home delivered, at a bargain price with better return and exchange policies.Also, you can check a variety of items without embarrassment or awkwardness of asking from a local shop owner. But with popularity, there comes the risk, risk of being frauded. This threat can be countered with awareness and only awareness. So, I am here to make you aware about online shopping safety measures.
Padlock- Symbol of Secureness
Do not buy anything from the sites which are not SSL certified. But the question is how would you know if the site is SSL certified or not? It is very easy, check the URL it will start with https instead of http, this is the best method which is universally available in all the browsers. But most modern browsers now have a padlock symbol to show exactly that. This symbol is present near the address bar, when the site is secure padlock is in locked state and when site is not secure the padlock symbol is either in unlocked state or absent.
Use Well Known Websites
Most common e-commerce site is Amazon. But there are many-many websites from where you can do shopping or avail services. Most of them are legitimate but there are a minority of sites which are going to cheat. Finding out that if the website is fraud or not is very easy, it just needs a little bit of research for your online shopping safety.
For a website that you are using for the first time, you should search about it before you buy anything. Check for the negative reviews For independent sellers on a website, you can check out their online reviews on a site like REVIEWS.io.
Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (like .net, .co.uk, .org instead of .com after the site name).
Whenever you get time, sit calm and check all the electronic statements of apps like Paypal, PayTM, etc. These are not priority though but you should definitely check statements of your debit card, credit card and checking account.
You should use a credit card instead of a debit card. Through a debit card, they can get direct access to your bank account. And in case of credit cards you would pay only when you are sure when the bill is right.
For any wrong data you can inform your bank within 30 days for minimal loss.
Use Strong Passwords
We collaborated with a youtube channel Web Beast and asked him to do a poll on his channel. Poll was to know if people change their passwords. The result were like this-
As you can see, about 70% of the people never change their passwords. It is very very important for your privacy to change your password regularly and the password must be rigidly strong. Even most strong passwords sometimes fail, so I thereby suggest that you should use a password manager. Most popular password managers are Dashlane and LastPass.
Do not give your Social Security number or your birthday to an online selling e-tailer, it decreases your online shopping safety to a great extent. No one needs this information to do business with you. Avoid giving your personal information as much as possible.
Immunize Your Computer
Sometimes you take all the precautions but there are people building various viruses and malwares. Free antivirus are not capable of preventing new viruses as everyday the count of malwares are increasing. You should definitely use a paid antivirus software with a full-blown security suite which gives much more protection on your privacy, spam, payment and password protection. You will also have to update your antivirus softwares regularly because as I had said people are developing new viruses daily.
Use Mobile Apps
Use mobile apps provided by the e-tailer like amazon, zomato, flipkart etc. This is because these apps work only on certain domain names and every other domain is avoided. This prevents redirecting to other websites and further prevents fake payments. So, try to use a mobile app instead of browsers when possible.
Secure Your Connection
Whenever you are doing any payment or even just entering personal information, you should never use public WiFi. Especially those Wi-Fi which are free, hackers sit on these public Wi-Fi connections for the opportunity. Through Wi-Fi you will give them access to see all your data. Whenever you are entering your important information, you should always use your personal connection. To add one more layer of security you can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
The most important thing that we people avoid doing is reading policies of the e-tailer. You should check how the return policies, payment policies and ownership policies are? Before purchasing you should definitely know how long will it take for delivery? If they are not telling you this then you should avoid buying from that e-tailer. So, read policies for your online shopping safety.
Check the Seller of Cards and Coupons
Sometimes you buy a product for a discount coupon or payment card for a different product. Yes, you do get great discounts through these coupons but sometimes you buy a coupon to get a discount and then you find out that it is an already used one. So, you should not buy these coupons from anywhere. Only buy these coupons from the best sellers or trustworthy companies.
What to do if something goes wrong?
If you get scammed, you should not start panicking, instead you should urgently call the seller and complain. If that did not work out, quickly go to the cyber crime’s website and file a complaint. Then report your bank about the thing. As long as you do not act negligently, you will get your money back from your card company if the card details are used by a criminal.
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