10 Ways to Keep Safe When Shopping Online

Shredded Paper, Identity Theft

Identity Theft

One of the greatest dangers when shopping online is identity theft that allows your financial information to be used for fraudulent purposes. Reputable online retailers spend a great deal of money every year to protect customer information that resides in their databases. Scammers and thieves spend most of their time trying to figure out how to bypass all of those safeguards. As an online shopper, use these tips to ensure the safety of your personal information every time you shop on the web.

1. Discernment
Whenever a website is visited, there should be a sense of legitimacy to the website, which that is only gained through experience. When a deal is too good to be true, leave the website quickly. Recognize the sites that offer prices that are not aligned with the market.

2. Be Scam savvy
Always verify the URL immediately upon arriving at a website. If the URL changes drastically and is full of unrecognizable characters, leave the site. Avoid websites that are included in spam emails. Another important web savvy habit is to be aware of the scams, phishing methods and pharming techniques that are used currently. These methods change often and can be avoided with some effort.

3. Shop the familiar
Online retailers rank high in the search engine results and maintain a consistent appearance to their websites. Visit the sites that are familiar and recommended even though this may sound like a limiting method. There are many sites that can become trusted allies in the quest to find great online deals, but some research is required before they become trusted sources.

4. Deter thieves
Look for the “https:” in front of the URL as the designation that the site you are shopping is “secured.” Avoid the practice of “trusting” a site even though the secure designation is not posted. Inputting a credit card number once into an unsecured site can be a very costly mistake. Thieves know which sites will allow them to capture card numbers without challenge.

5. Recognize legitimate sites
Every country has respected organizations that designate legitimate online retailers and give awards for excellent customer service and trusted online practices. Look for the symbols on the sides and bottom of each webpage to know that the online retailer has earned such legitimate designations.

6. Check reviews Upon the first visit to any site, pause and do some preliminary research for the reviews of the company. Look at multiple pages of search results to find information that might be less than favorable. Reputation management companies strive to get all negative information off the first page of search results, so dig into the following pages to find real information about online retailers.

7. Keep Strong passwords
Use a different password for every shopping site. Avoid using the same password for banking, email and shopping activities. All passwords should contain a strong combination of letter and numbers that cannot be guessed even by the people who know you best.

8. Use a Secure browser
Many excellent web browsers exist on the market today. Find objective information about your browser of choice to ensure that it offers some protection against hacking. Avoid installing toolbars and free software in the browser program since some of these are known to cause breaches in the security protocols, which are useful to thieves trolling the internet for personal information.

9. Filter suspicious sites Security protocols within the web browsers will flag sites that fit certain criteria and prevent the user from visiting such sites. Even when these alerts are shown, some users will bypass the warning and end up on sites that harm their computers. Heed these warnings and avoid sites that are flagged as suspicious.

10. Take precautions
Novice shoppers will gain a great deal of experience by reading some information about shopping sites and becoming aware of the scams that are currently being used against consumers. Experienced shoppers must be vigilant to trust their instincts and honestly evaluate each site.

Savvy shoppers learn these techniques through research or hard-earned experience. Online shopper is seeking great deals from trusted websites through the most convenient method available. These tips will prevent the loss of personal information through an uninformed choice that could be costly in the long run.

Matt works for creditcardcompare.com.au maintaining their blog, The Credit Letter. He also writes detailed reviews on the best credit cards available for the australian market.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 absolute crackers November 15, 2011 at 3:45 am

The internet is today responsible for billions of transactions worldwide therefore it has provided the crooks a platform to commit thefts. You need to be extra conscious to ensure the safety of your money. Thanks for the providing the tips Matt.


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