Almost all of us bought something online once at least. It’s completely different than buying in real, because you can’t touch products you want to order, check their quality or, in case of clothing and shoes, find out the right size. That’s why shopping online is pretty risky, but it doesn’t mean that we have to avoid it. Just the opposite – customs sold in the Internet are often much cheaper than the same in normal stores, shipping is really fast and if something didn’t meet our needs, returns are also pretty easy. But how to not fall into a trap?
We all know that fraudulent sellers are waiting for naive people, who will trust and send them their money. Sometimes is really hard to find out if seller is a fair person – they are kind and nice, ready to help us in all the steps of online purchase. Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, so all we need is a common sense and a basic guideline. With our 11 simple steps shopping online will turn into a piece of cake!
1. They don’t need your details
If an online seller will ask you about something simple like birthday date or, even worse, details connected to the number of your credit card, it’s definitely a trap and somebody just wants to steal your identity. It’s unfortunately a common practice these days, so be careful – one day you will find out that your bank account is completely empty.
2. Only strong passwords are allowed!
People often make the same mistake typing something like „123456789” as their passwords using with most important accounts. You should choose an extremely difficult character string while banking and shopping online, eg. the one which includes letters, numbers, lower – and uppercases, special characters and spaces if allowed.
3. Find familiar websites
Taking everything under control is a base of trust, so once you will find a trustworthy online store, you shouldn’t look for the other one only to find the same product but less expensive. Those bargains cause often a river of problems and one we could do is saying goodbye to our money, because we will never see them again. And the product we ordered as well. Second most important is beware of misspellings and checking if the address looks exactly the same as usual (eg. .com isn’t changed to other domain).
4. Always check the statements
Sellers are obliged to send you bills and other documents during the whole purchase process. Always try to collect them and don’t throw any in case of possible returns or problems. Don’t forget to check your electronic statements for credit cards and bank accounts regularly, because even when you’re sleeping somebody may steal your precious money.
5. Avoid shopping in the public
Don’t even think about buying something using public computer or terminal, because you can never be sure that it’s safe. There are often installed spy software on those devices and for the fraud stealing your money is like a piece of cake if they have a quick access to your account. This includes also public WiFi points. Always use your laptop or mobile devices.
6. Privatize your WiFi
The next tip is connected with the previous one, because if you use your own WiFi hotspot, it should be fully protected. Why? Because even when you’re at home, somebody may break the passwords and hack your computer (and personal details like bank account as well). It’s an easy way to get rid of money without spending anything…
7. Trust your mobile devices
Mobile devices are handy, you can take them everywhere and browse the Internet even when you’re waiting in the queue. Those small moments are great to make a comparison between various sellers offers but remember – trust only the apps from retailers you know. When you will decide what exactly you want to buy, you can make the purchase directly in the app. It’s a simple way to save time, isn’t it?
8. Count the cards
Beware of all the gift cards, because using them is sometimes an easy way to frauders to steal your money or personal details. Don’t even think about buying them on auctions – they are without any funds the most often.
9. Inoculate your PC
Swindlers are really clever – they don’t need any invitation to send you something helpful for them to steal your money or identity. That’s why it is important to protect your PC, laptop or mobile devices – all connected to Internet – against the malware. This kind of software isn’t so expensive, but you can be sure that you and your money are completely safe.
10. Look for the lock
Always check if shopping online process is protected. It’s not hard to check that – just take a quick look at a website address – if it starts with HTTPS:// it have SSL (secure sockets layer) which is a guarantee of safe purchase protection. Check also if before the address appears an icon of locked padlock.
11. Know what is too good to be true
Always check things twice and follow your common sense – there are lots of bargains which are traps even if they look safely. Don’t send money overseas even when your friends is asking and always check the details provided. Don’t trust the offers like „iPhone for free” posted via social media – somebody definitely wants to hoax you.