It’s that time of the year again where everyone is rushing to get presents for family and friends. If you don’t have time to go out and about searching for the perfect gift, you can always do it online. However, there will always be those sites looking to scam you. So here are some tips if you want to safely do some online shopping.
Keep your computer and information protected
Before you do any online shopping the first thing you need to do is to make sure that your computer is secure, updated and equipped with a good antivirus. Another thing to keep an eye out for is to make sure that your wifi or internet connection is secure. This is because it’s easier for criminals to capture information which is transmitted over public connections.
Use trusted sites
If you’re a first-time online shopper, the best thing you can do is to stick to sites that you know of. Most major retail outlets will also have their own online stores. Keep an eye out for imposter sites as they will have misspelt the name and will have a different top-level domain, such as using .net instead of .com. So make sure that you don’t start your search from the search engine, go to the site and do your shopping from there.
Make sure it has a lock icon
If you’re worried about imposter sites, most secure sites will have a lock icon with the word secure written next to it in the URL. Another way to tell if a site is safe is if it has an SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. A site will have an SSL if the URL for the site starts with HTTPS://, instead of just HTTP://.
If the online store starts to ask questions about your birthday and your ID, then something is not right. If criminals get these details along with your credit card number then they can access your account. So make sure to keep your personal information to yourself and to always double check that you are using the correct site.
Check your credit card details
After you’ve made the purchase make sure that you regularly check that all charges on your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts are known and controlled. If you begin to notice any suspicious activity, then you may be the victim of identity theft and you should immediately notify your bank about it.
Buying presents online can be simple and easy. However, you should always make sure that you are doing it in a safe and secure way so that you don’t get scammed.