Safe Online Shopping: 10 Ideas to Avoid Getting Burned

You have to buy gifts for the holidays and you have to purchase them quickly. It is possible to also brave the madness of shopping at your local mall or kick back in the home and buy all of your gifts online. Doing your holiday shopping online can be a great way to save lots of time while you find the appropriate gifts at the very best price. You’ll miss the parking lot wars, avoid getting the flu from your fellow consumers, and stay out of pick-pockets’ crosshairs. But though it may be easy and convenient to shop in your pajamas, you still need to take precautions to be sure your digital ‘purse strings’ are safe and secure. Here are some simple tips for safe online shopping:

Secure your computer. Make sure your home computer has updated security application installed, and run regular program check to help keep hackers’ keylogging viruses away.

ONLY shop from your home. Don’t do your online shopping from the neighborhood caf�, the airport or various other public places. These open systems are easier targets for identity thieves to hack into your computer. Only shop from your own secured home network.

Click carefully. Your favorite store just sent you an excellent voucher! But wait! Before you click on email links, be certain of where they lead. Fraud emails can look similar to the real ones from your own favorite stores, with links that appear to take one to legitimate sites. But hover on the link and you may visit a different web address – this may be a fake site, designed to gather your credit card details for fraud. Your safest bet would be to manually navigate to your preferred retailer’s website.

Know thy merchant. Among best parts of online shopping is conveniently comparing prices to find a great deal. You may find the gift you want for half the purchase price – but make sure the merchant is respected and trustworthy. In the event that you haven’t done business with a merchant before, look for online reviews. Using aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Store shopping is another good way to ensure your merchant doesn’t consider you for a fraudulent sleigh ride.

Lock down your site. When you visit a retailer’s website, look for “https” at the start of the URL. This “s” – plus a small gold lock in the lower-right corner of your browser – indicates an extra level of security for your online shopping.

Log out. Always logout securely when leaving a website.

Check if your payment information are stored. Some online looking sites ask if you want to store your payment particulars for future purchases. It certainly is handy to have your details stored, especially if you utilize that site often. But, look out for this on lesser-known websites.

Compare ‘real’ prices. Be sure you know how much you will end up charged for shipping, and when you can find any taxes or fees that’ll be added to your online purchase. These ‘extras’ can truly add up quickly, so be sure you include them when comparison store shopping. Many retailers offer free shipping around the holidays, and others allow free in-store pick-up of one’s online purchases – easy ways to add extra cost savings to your holiday shopping.

Know the Return Policy. Read the merchant’s return policy prior to making your purchase. One of the downsides of online shopping is the inability to ‘try it on’ or see the item before purchasing, so make sure your merchant offers you an easy way to return/refund your purchase if it’s not what you expected.

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