In as much as there are a lot of benefits to buying online when compared with buying from a physical store, the risks of buying online are twice higher, when compared to those associated with buying from a physical store.
One can never be too careful in a world where nothing is hundred percent foolproof. This is more glaring when it comes to online shopping, as money is sure going to be transacted, and sensitive details prone to theft are involved. So, when next you are about to shop online, you might want to seriously consider these little but extremely helpful tips.
Carry Out Proper and Extensive Research about the Store you Intend to Buy from
In the same way you ask friends about a grocery store you want to patronize, it should be the way you should extensively and carefully research about an online store you want to patronize. There is a wealth of information on third party review blogs as the reviews hosted on the store’s website may be manipulated. This is to ensure that you transact business with only credible online vendors.
Do not Make Use of a Public Wi-Fi
Most cafés and coffee shops have public Wi-Fi that one can easily connect to. Whenever you are connected to such networks, do not make any online purchase because your details are made public. This is because, someone who is tech savvy can gain access to your browser history and subsequently your financial details with minimal effort, and if that person has a malicious intent, you may just be the next victim of identity theft.
Check for Webpage Security, and Make Use of Strong Passwords
Make sure the website you are ordering from has a secured server link (SSL). If it doesn’t, it would be very dangerous to make a purchase from such a site. A quick way to check is if the “http” has an ‘s’ like this: “https”. If so, then it’s safe. If not, then it isn’t. There are other ways to find out if a website is safe or not.
Most online vendors require you to register with them before you make a purchase. This requires you having a password protected account with them. Make sure you choose a strong password, and if possible, it should contain letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters to make it stronger, and difficult to discover.
Be Mindful of the Details you Make Available
As a rule, there are some sensitive details about yourself that shouldn’t be made available to anyone, especially online stores. An example is your Social Security Number. When anyone asks for such sensitive information, it should raise a red flag.
Keep a Record of all Transactions
From the receipts to the order confirmation number to postal tracking number, all these little details should be kept for future reference. One can never be too sure, in case there is an issue regarding your purchase. These little things will be of immense value when you least expect them to be.
With the tips listed above, you can be sure of having a safe and easy shopping experience online.