Today, there’s every reason in the world to shop online. The bargains are there, the selection is mind-boggling, convenient, secured, with fast delivery. Even product returns are pretty easy, with the right e-tailers. Online shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers, but always be sure to protect yourself from identity thieves and other online retail scams.
Most of shoppers couldn’t do without the convenience of online shopping. Whether it means getting the best price on the latest fashion item from your favorite brand or purchasing the perfect pair of shoes, online shopping gives you access to products, services, and special deals that might be unavailable otherwise even from your mobile phone.
However, online shopping has its own risks. The popularity—and profitability—of online retail has resulted in unscrupulous people looking to take advantage of unwary shoppers. Their tactics may include:
Using deception websites
In the internet, it can be hard to distinguish reputable retailers from criminals, as just about anyone can set up fraudulent a web site that appears to be a legitimate business. Today, there a like 10 – 20 online shopping sites like us with the same system (offering discounted items and service voucher); But out of those numbers there are like 4 websites are still popular – Groupon Philippines, Ensogo, Metrodeal and your CashCashPinoy.
Using malware and data invasion
Some websites can inadvertently download spyware on your computer that allows access to your personal information and passwords, and sophisticated hackers can breach online business databases to harvest customer payment information. If you are ordering from a shared computer (i.e. the library, computer lab, or a work PC), log out of the shopping site and clear the browser history, cookies, and page cache.
Share payment information only with known/reputable vendors
The single best thing you can to do protect yourself is to be careful about who you’re giving your payment details to. If you’re not entirely sure whether the retailer you’re visiting is reliable, do some research to verify its authenticity and security (some websites change there url from http to https where the added “s” stands for “secure”).
Or use a third-party payment processor instead of giving your payment information directly to the online store (e.g Paypal). This limits the risk of your payment details getting into the wrong hands, because it is ultimately handled by fewer online entities.
As much as possible use a credit card vs. debit card in purchasing items online
Credit cards can be the safer choice for online shopping—if someone manages to intercept your financial information online, they can do less damage and you have more recourse than if you’d used a debit card.
Advantages of using credit card against debit card during online purchase:
- Credit cards have spending limits, while debit cards don’t—debit cards are directly linked to your bank account.
- You can dispute fraudulent charges made to a credit card without being out-of-pocket the amount in dispute, but money withdrawn directly from your checking account by a debit card is much more difficult to recover.
Consider using a credit card with a low credit limit specifically for your online purchases. And some banks now offer “one-time use” or “virtual” credit cards that are designed specifically for online shopping—these are good only for one transaction from a specific vendor.
While if you don’t have bank cards you can pay your online purchased via establishments (like 7-11 and over the counter banks);
Print or save a copy of your orders
It’s always a good idea to keep documentation of your online purchases. Most retailers (like us) will send you an email or refer you to a web page with a confirmation of your purchase; this page should include a purchase receipt and a confirmation number. Print or save the confirmation and keep it until you receive your product.
For personal preference to guarantee your secured online shopping
Use strong passwords or change it occasionally
Often, one of the most critical security steps is the one we give the least attention to—our passwords. Passwords can be the best security defenses we have, but if they’re not created properly, a hacker can easily guess them. For any online shopping accounts you have, be sure to create good passwords.
Check your bank statements often
To ensure that no unknown or fraudulent charges have been posted to your accounts, check your statements every month. If you see a charge that looks out of the ordinary, report it to your credit card company or financial institution immediately.
If it looks too good to be true…
The old-fashioned shopper’s rule of thumb “buyer beware” still applies to online purchases. If you’re being offered a top-of-the-line item for an unbelievably rock-bottom price, it may really be too good to be true. Do additional research about the vendor before buying.
If you have any other tips/comments about the guidelines or anything that you want to talk about you can shoot a comment below and let’s start the conversation.