Many people worry about their safety when shopping online and this quite often prevents them from taking advantage of the myriad of deals and offers the internet makes available. Online shopping doesn’t have to be a dangerous experience; rather you should just exercise caution. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of ten of the best shopping safety tips.
10. Know the law
The law varies depending on where you are using the internet. For instance: If you’re conducting online shopping in Australia, there are strict laws governing the sale of goods online, and knowing the safety measures in place is always a good idea, particularly when you are browsing sites and reading their policies. Government websites should offer a comprehensive overview of their policies regarding the internet and shopping, and we’d recommend familiarising yourself with them.
9. Recognisable retailers
Shopping with reputable and recognisable retailers is a good way to ensure you’re safety when shopping online, as you can almost always guarantee high quality of goods, and high quality security. Having the security of a reputable brand in place is essential to safe shopping online.
8. Check the address bar
What is in the address bar is often a good indication of a website’s validity. If the address contains a direct reference to a product but isn’t the manufacturer’s site, you should be cautious. Equally check that the spelling matches what you would expect so that you know exactly where you are shopping.
7. Use secure payment methods
Secure payment methods are essential to safety online. The best payment options are credit cards and instant pay services like PayPal, which protect your details and offer you lots of buyer protection. If a site requests alternative forms of payment, don’t use them. Also be reluctant to use debit cards, which don’t offer the same levels of protection.
6. Check for sales speak
Sales speak is not necessarily an indication of a bad site but it quite often is a sign of shoddy goods, or promises that won’t be lived up to. Reputable retailers generally sell their goods off their own merit, and anything full of empty promises or warnings is generally a dud.
5. Check when the site was last updated
Checking when the site was last updated is a good indication of the quality of their security and how well equipped it is to deal with current threats. If the site hasn’t been updated recently, then there is no guarantee that their security measures are sufficient to deal with current threats – even if the site itself is reputable.
4. Update your computer
Keeping your computer’s security, and your browser up to date are essential to protecting you from viruses and from third parties, gaining access to your details. Update your security weekly, or when prompted, and update your browser every time it is offered.
3. Check the website
Checking thee website for security symbols, logos and high quality writing is a good way to judge its validity. If there are logos you’d expect missing, or frequent grammatical errors, then you should begin to question the validity of the site.
2. Check site security
Equally important to checking the validity of a site is checking the security of its payment page. When you are prompted to enter your details you should see “https://” and a padlock in the address bar. If these are missing, it means your personal data is not being encrypted prior to transmission, so it could potentially be stolen by other parties.
1. How did you get there?
How you arrived at where you are now shopping is incredibly important, as often dodgy sites advertise on more respectable ones to get customers. If you clicked an advertisement, or a link on another page, you have no guarantee that you have been sent to a legitimate site. If you use a reputable search engine you will generally see more reputable results. Before making any purchase, check the validity of the site, and search for the site name with the word scam after it to see if anyone else has had problems.