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Dos and Don'ts of Online Shopping

Posted by Chris Osiyi      
Date: January 10th, 2015

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Shopping online can be a very enjoyable experience when it is done right. Many people, however, may not know how to shop online because they have never done it before. By understanding some of the following dos and don'ts of online shopping, it can be easy to enjoy a relaxing and rewarding shopping experience, right in the comfort of your own home.

Do Know the Website

Hackers will always try to make a website look like the real thing, but do not be fooled. They will typically use names that are similar to real retailers in order to get access to your financial information. In order to combat this, always be sure to check the name of your site and address in order to confirm it. Look for the appropriate extensions, and never linger for too long if you notice that something is out of the ordinary. Immediate care and appropriate reaction is what will keep your computer and private information safe.

Don't Shop with Public Computers

Entering your personal information on public computers is always extremely risky. If you use a computer at your bookstore or coffee shop to make purchases, you will risk having your private information stolen. Anybody can use that information, and unless you follow specific procedures to erase it from the computer, your finances will be stolen. Do not put yourself at unnecessary risk. All that you have to do is avoid shopping in public locations, and always erase your information to keep it from prying eyes.

Do Verify Site Security

When you are browsing through a website, look for an https in the website's address bar. If you do not see that, check for a little padlock icon at the top of your browser. These signs will let you know that the site you are browsing is secure against foreign connections. It will help keep both your and the retailer's information safe. If you receive any notifiers that the security certificate has expired, or that the website does not have one, avoid shopping there.

Don't Believe Everything

Just because a website may say that it is secure on its main page does not always mean that it is. Cyber criminals will always try to lure people into their traps by establishing false information around their sites. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if something on the website seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always stick to well known companies and look for reviews to back up the website's claims.

Do Know Your Information

One of the most important things that you need to do when you visit a shopping website is be prepared. Have your addresses, names, phone numbers, and credit card numbers ready to help a shop guide you through a purchase. However, avoid websites that ask you for your social security number, your bank routing numbers, or your driver's license. Legitimate stores will never ask for this information.

Don't Pay with Debit

There are numerous policies and special systems in place to help protect shoppers from fraud when it comes to credit cards. Many of these same security features and safeguard policies are not extended to debit cards. You can avoid many large problems, just by keeping your debit card close, and instead choosing to purchase something with your credit card.

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