In this article, you will learn how to shop online safely. It is important to know how you can protect yourself from being ripped off.
The internet is a very large audience with people of different behaviours coming in. You should be able to recognise when a deal is about to go wrong.
Crooks are getting smarter and working around the clock to find loopholes. Online shopping is fun and convenient; sadly, it has its dark sides. As online stores continue to gain momentum so is the chance of you getting duped.
Although, I have been able to come up with a write-up on how you can detect fake websites, yet we still need to drop a few more tips on how you can shop online safely.
Ways You Can Avoid Being Duped When You Shop Online
- When it is too good to be true, be careful.
- Do a thorough investigation by searching online for reviews.
- Use a secure payment system.
- Ask questions when in doubt.
- Use only established stores.
- Take heed to your computer warnings.
- Take extra caution while using your smartphone for shopping.
- Request for virtual visa card (VVC).
1. When it is too good to be true, be careful
we usually lose our sense of reasoning when we see an item being sold at a very cheap price.
I was once a victim but I had a backup plan in the event it is not what it looks like.
I was on eBay searching for an item when I came across a laptop which was priced at $55.65. I was skeptical at first but I decided to go with it using a secured payment system, Paypal.
Just like I guessed, it was a scam but I was covered by the buyer’s protection policy on PayPal. I opened a dispute on PayPal which later resulted to claims and I got my money reversed.
You may not be as lucky as me, avoid paying for an item when the price is way too low than the original price except the seller allows pay on delivery.
2. Do a thorough investigation by searching online for reviews
This has never for once goes wrong. The best way to know more about a particular online shopping site is through search engines.
Go to google.com or any other search engine you are familiar with, add reviews to a URL or products name and search. For example, you can make your searches using keywords like, “eBay Reviews” or NNU reviews.
You are going to get a lot more than you bargained for, mostly from buyers who had used the products or company before.
However, it does not matter how a company is good at, they can’t keep a perfect record. Never judge them based on just one or few deals that went wrong.
3. Use a secure payment system
Often times, we create problems for ourselves by using a platform other than the site’s payment channels. Buyers should be smart enough and avoid wiring money or sending directly into the seller’s bank account.
A secured payment system like credit cards and PayPal are secured by Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption. You can also chargeback when things go wrong.
Some banks also offer one-time use card, the cards can be used for only a single transaction, even if someone managed to get your details, it will be useless to them. Nevertheless, protecting your subsequent cards is important, some people are fond of using the same pin over and over.
4. Ask questions when in doubt
Don’t be in a haste to close a deal just because someone else might get the offer. Most crooks will present a mouth offering offers with limited time.
Don’t be pushed into a quick decision because most decisions made in hurry always bite back at the end, talk to someone you think might know about online stores.
It is safer to be late than being outsmarted by crooks. A thorough investigation might help.
5. Use only established stores
You can’t take chances with every store you come across. Using one with huge reputation could save you from being duped or your information getting into wrong hands.
Most established online stores will only use the most secure protocol, HTTPS, which protects your information by encrypting all communication between browser and website.
Customers are safer when using a website with HTTPS protocol. If a website uses HTTP, all information shared between browser and computer will be in text mode. Always go for online stores with HTTPS, most importantly, make sure it is the right URL because scammers are now cloning websites.
If you are finding it difficult to differentiate the website, you should consider installing a phishing filter on your browser. We have various phishing filters on the internet explorer and chrome that you can use. The SmartScreen filter is a good one to start with.
6. Take heed to your computer warnings
When your computer warns about a particular website, it is important to pay attention. Our computer is programmed to do smart things which won’t be impossible without firewalls and other software.
If you receive questioning emails while on the web, do not open. It is possible the site has managed to steal your email address. Avoid opening all links that pop while you are browsing and use only authority websites.
7. Take extra caution while using your smartphone for shopping
Smartphones never have the grace that PCs have, yet people prefer to use smartphones to connect to the internet. Only in rare situations that we use our computers to make purchases.
Computers are known to be safer but we often ignore because mobile phone is easier to handle and portable as well. Smartphones do most of the things that can be done on a computer but that does not mean your information cannot be stolen.
Always keep your phone safe with a very strong password. I would advise you to invest in a fingerprint device since no two people can have the same print.
8. Request for virtual visa card (VVC)
If you are the type that loves to shop on random sites, it might be safer to use a temporary funded card for your online purchases.
With a virtual visa card, you can shield your full profile unlike using a card connected to your bank account. Another benefit of using a virtual visa card is it is only available for a short period whereas, debit cards from banks can take about two years or three years, this way VCC with limited time is safer.