Online shopping has gained immense popularity, across classes and geographical boundaries over the last few years. Like with all things good , whereas the advent of online shopping has brought great convenience and choices , it has also brought about certain challenges in terms of online safety and security .The new age criminals , the cyber criminals are always on the prowl to find out ways in which to scam the unsuspecting online shopper . Let us discuss a few ways in which you can have a safe and secure way of an online shopping experience:
- Avoid offers that sound too good to be true – It is easy to understand that any online store which offers too much at too low a price is more likely to be a scam . If you do find a website offering such deals, use your jurisprudence to find more about the site, its reputation, whether it has correct sounding contact details and whether it has some negative comments on the web space. These days many websites, especially in developing countries have been known to scam people by offering them too good to be true deals but by carefully planning and executing a web of lies and promises and finally victimising the gullible into losing a lot of their precious money. Be very careful of such websites. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Go on the reputation – Over the years there have been millions of websites offering similar products and services but few have really been able to scale up quickly and create a brand and a name for itself. There are justifiable reasons for that. These websites indulged in fair practice, brought about innovation and choices and more importantly it delivered to the customers what it promised, more or less. It is a prudent decision to go with websites that already has a strong web presence and committed buyers. There are far lesser chances of you being scammed if you go with the trusted brands. Even if you do there are far better chances of redressal than on websites with poor customer service track record.
- Use a Credit Card – It has been found that credit card companies are more forthcoming in resolving card misuse issues of its customers than banks or debit card issuers. Credit cards also have spending limits and most of the time real time notifications for all spends. It is easier to dispute or hold back payment to a credit card than to a debit card where the money is already withdrawn from your account as soon as it is charged on a consumer portal.
- Give a thought to your computer’s security settings: It sounds obvious that the antivirus and anti spyware program installed in your computer must be regularly updated and optimized as per your operating system; still a lot of people ignore this little detail and become victims of malware based fraud. The browser and the operating system must be regularly updated and security patches installed when prompted , the best way is to have these done automatically .It is also a reasonable option to run programs like security optimizer , that can automatically and effortlessly detect system security faults and vulnerabilities or loopholes that might have made their way to your operating system or the web browser or other places in the computer
- Create Strong Passwords – This is actually a no brainer .Whereas it might be irritating at times to adhere to the strict password policies of some websites and the multi level authentication formalities of others, it is important to understand that these are quite effective tools in checking online fraud and minimizing chances of security breach in the payment systems. Always have a strong password that is impossible to guess and keep changing it from time to time, especially if you are using public internet connectivity often. Passwords are our first line of effective defence against prospective hackers and it is of prime importance to have these as secure as possible while transacting on online payment gateways.
We see from the above given pointers therefore, that whereas all online transactions are potentially unsafe in a theoretical sense, some simple solutions can be applied to maintain the safety and security of your transaction and of your personal details, thus providing you a seamless, safe, secure and enjoyable online shopping experience. Like every other security, the web security is also in our hands if we follow the basic security principles and be attentive while shopping online .
Author’s Bio: Sridhar is a passionate blogger who writes on various online topics like e-commerce, free classifieds and online shopping. When he is not writing, he is found reading articles and blogs written by others.