The main advantage of online shopping is its convenience where anybody can search and buy a product at a click of their mouse of their PC.
However, online shopping has some concerns and risks associated with it. A lot of these risks are basically people dependent and can be prevented by being a little vigilant and following some basic precautions.
Precautions to keep online shopping secure:
Selecting a website: It is little difficult to check for a reliable website for shopping online. As we know, creating a website is quite easy has no restrictions. One must make sure that the website that they are transacting with is reliable. Always opt for buying from companies you already know. If you are planning to buy from an unknown website, start with smaller orders till you are contented with their service and reliability.
The URL of the website also helps you to find if the website is reliable or not. It should start with https://. The “s” that is displayed after “http” indicates that Web site is secure. Often, you do not see the “s” until you actually move to the order page on the Web site.
Checking if website is secure: Make sure the website is consistent on security grounds. The company may be reliable, but if it has no proper mechanism to secure their customer’s information from hacking, it is troublesome. Try to find if the merchant stores your data in encrypted form. Be sure to read privacy and security policies of the website before providing your personal information to them.
Checking for its reputation: Though there is no good logic to prove relation between reputation and reliability, reputed businesses cheat very rarely. Thus, it is good to go with the reputation of the website before doing business with it. You can check this with the help of search engines. Reputed businesses often have first page search listings.
Checking for its usability: Usability of the website helps you to attain certain knowledge on its credibility. Popup windows are always troublesome while doing the transaction in any website. Stay away from popup windows, and if possible, from the sites which allow them.
Run Antivirus Software: Before doing any online transaction one must update their antivirus software, which can help you to stay secure from unwanted cookies and applications.
Reveal Only the Bare Facts: It is common for any online merchant to ask you to signup before ordering a product. However, make sure you disclose only data which is mandatory and makes sense to provide. You do not require providing your social security number to any eCommerce merchant. If the site is trying to push you on edge to get too much information, it is recommended to simply leave the website.
Rechecking: Before doing or finalizing payment to the merchant make sure that the shopping cart has all and only the products that you have selected. You can add or delete any product only at this stage.
Payment Options: When it comes to payment options for purchasing online, there are many options like credit cards, debit cards, cash and cheques. Of all these options, credit cards are the safest option for purchasing online. It is recommended to have a separate credit card for e-commerce purchasing so that it will help in tracking dissolute credit charges easily.
Recheck again: After the transaction is complete, recheck for transaction details. Try to record them if possible. Finally, don’t forget to sign off from the site.
Online shopping is a trendy boon for shoppers, only if they are cautious during the transaction.
By: Rahul Satish
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