Online shopping is a quick, convenient way to buy almost any product you could possibly imagine. While there are some risks shopping this way, if you know how to identify a secure online store, and how to protect yourself, you should be able to shop with confidence. To have the best possible experience buying online, there are a few important things to remember and it all starts with your computer at home. Making sure your computers operating system and Internet browser are up to date, and installing some good malware-protection software, is your first line of defense against viruses, malware, or fraudulent activity.
To further protect sensitive information like credit card numbers, your best bet is to shop from home; avoid using public wifi or public PCs, like library computers. If youve purchased products online before, youre probably familiar with some of the larger retailers like Amazon or Ebay. These sites have become so popular in part because they have earned a good reputation for protecting their customers personal information. With sites like these, theres less to worry about in general. However, there may be a time when you find that the hunt for a rare or specific item has taken you off the beaten path in the online marketplace. If you find yourself shopping on an unfamiliar site, make sure to look for https://, and the padlock symbol in the address bar.
These things indicate that the site is SSL encrypted, which means it provides the security necessary to better protect your personal information. And always be sure to make note of phone numbers and physical addresses so you know how to make contact in case theres a problem with your transaction. Its also a good idea to do some research on what youre buying and who youre buying from.
If youre tempted to buy something from an online store youve never shopped with before, take a minute to do a quick search to see if you can find any reviews. No matter what site youre shopping on, whenever you log in with an online retailer, you want to make sure your passwords are strong, long, and different for every site you shop with. This will make it harder for your account to be hacked, further protecting your privacy. Once youre ready to purchase something, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safe payment options.
Credit cards are generally your safest option…..Or you can also use an online payment service like PayPal or Google Wallet. These services keep your credit card information stored on a secure server, allowing you to make purchases through them without revealing sensitive information to retailers. After youve made a purchase, print or save records of the transaction. Keeping a paper trail of your purchase will be valuable in the event that you have to dispute anything later. Above all else, remember to never send cash through the mail, use a money wiring service, give out your social security number, or send your credit card information over email. Legitime retailer never do that, and if one does, its pretty much a sure-fire indication that youre about to be scammed. In the end, use your common sense, and trust your gut. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if anything seems suspicious, dont make the purchase..
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