Buying goods and services online may have made your life a lot simpler, however what you have to also understand is that there are a number of things you have to understand when you do so. When you shop online, there are a number of security threats attached, and if you are not careful, you could end up losing some money and even be victim of identity theft. This is not just the case with online stores and brick and mortar stores could make you face the same threats. So be careful whether inside or outside learn how to keep the hackers and thieves who are after your money at a distance.
1. For beginners who are not familiar with the process of buying products online, or for those who are not completely bought in by the idea of buying a product without actually touching it, you should visit a regular store in your neighborhood, feel the product and then buy the product online. Once you know what it feels like, make sure you get the same products online and be sure to read their descriptions carefully before you go ahead and place the order. Make sure to take a print of the receipt that the online store provides.
2. Another very important step in shopping online is ensuring that the purchases you make are off a secure web address. It is simple to check whether the website is secure or not and by doing so you could avoid a lot of grief.
To check if the websites is using an encrypted software look out for the SSL ( Secure Socket layer) padlock symbol. You will find this symbol on the address bar or on the bottom right hand corner of the web page. Also make sure that the site address starts with ‘https’ and not just ‘http’. Make this a habit and you can be sure that you will not be cheated when you are shopping online.
3. Checking for contact details on the website, should be a practice as well because you want to make sure that you can trust the website you are using. Check if they have paper catalogues, by that you will be able to judge if they have been in the business for long. Check if they let you return items and also check if they have a regular brick and mortar store.
4. You could also shop online with the help of gift cards. This will help you cope with the fear of identity theft and other security issues.
5. Another way of ensuring that the website you are using can be trusted is to use Google or other search engines to look for reviews about the website. If you find any bad reviews or come across some comments by an unhappy customer, you know it is prudent not to shop on that particular website. Word of mouth is the best publicity, so if you have friends who are happy with where they are shopping online, you could use these websites to broaden your shopping horizon.
6. You could also choose to get your hands on a pre-paid Visa card for online shopping. Thousands of people use pre-paid visa cards and restaurants and at gas stations without a single worry, so you could simply load up your card to a certain amount to stay more secure every time you shop online.