Online Shopping: Be Safe and secure

In recent years, online shopping has drastically increased with more consumers than ever now taking advantage of this time and money saving shopping experience. Today, you can purchase just about any item online. The internet is home to thousands of sites offering great deals and quality products. However, there are unsavory characters that prey upon consumers in an effort to steal their money, personal information, and even their identity. If you do not know about the risks of shopping online and how to protect yourself when online shopping, you could become the victim of a cyber criminal.

There are a number of risks you should be aware when shopping online. For instance, there are fake sites that look like major shopping sites that are designed to earn your trust so the cyber criminal can steal your personal and financial information. There are also sites that are used to phish passwords and account names. They will use the information to enter your accounts, purchase items using your financial information, and steal your identity. For the victim, the result can be financially and emotionally devastating. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself when you shop online to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

When you are visiting an unfamiliar website, or a site that is not well-known, it is important to make sure there are business contact numbers, email addresses, and a physical address. As well, make sure the site is a verified seller. There should be a trustmark logo that indicates that the site is secure. It is also important to make sure their payment transactions are encrypted so check for SSL certificates. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data. Websites that use encryption will have a key or closed lock in the web browser. Also, you should check to see if the payment site address begins with ‘https://’. The https indicates that site has a secure server.

When you are on a website, read their security and privacy policy to verify that they do not sell your information to third parties and your money will be returned if there is a problem with your purchase. Keep a record of the transaction and check your credit card statement to confirm that you were charged the stated price. Use a credit card, not a debit card, for online purchases. Using a pre-load credit card is a good choice. As well, never send any personal and financial information through email, including your social security number.

Shopping online allows consumers to locate and buy a broad range of goods and services. It is important to keep security in mind when you are shopping online. If you are visiting a website, it is vital that you make sure it is a legitimate site with all of the essential security features. By practicing safe online shopping habits, you will be able to make the most out of your online shopping experience without becoming a victim of cyber crime.