Just as fun as it can be to shop online, it can equally be risky at times. Not because you might just end up ordering the wrong size (thank god to the fact that there’s always an exchange window and you can courier it back) but because there are some safety issues that you need to keep in mind while swapping that plastic card of yours. With a dramatic increase in numbers of online purchasing portals, online flick stores, shopping windows, etc. it is becoming more and more crucial to keep a watch on where exactly you are stashing your card numbers in. There are scammers flopping in the online world like never before. So it helps to keep an eye before you decide to lay your hands on that beautiful dress or shoe you just spotted on the screen.
Here we lay down few safety procedures which once you ensure will make your experience equivalent to one that you have while visiting your nearest mart for picking stuff up.
1) Your computing environment should be very secured
Almost a no-brainer yet half the online population neglects this as a safety step. When you make purchases online, everything is encrypted. So if your computer is not protected of malicious software, your financial information and passwords will be stolen (as a matter of fact everything stands the chance of being stolen that are saved in your computer). So it is the first thing to ensure that the firewall is on. Also adding to it, try avoid shopping online from cyber cafes or using a public network. Financial transactions are better done through trusted computers.
2) Verify as to just how much you trust the store
There are correct ways of going about the shopping portal/ website you are trusting:
– If you already know the outlet of the brand or store you are purchasing form, go-ahead and have trust. In case anything goes wrong during the financial transaction, you can always walk in to the relevant store and get the problem sorted.
– If you have friends or family buying from a particular store/ portal, there’s nothing to worry much in that case then.
– If you do not know the store at all, BEWARE! Keep your eyes open. Read customer reviews or best is, do the store’s background check by looking at sites dedicated to reviewing e-stores. You find your store there, go ahead and make your picks.
3) Avail discount
Why pay extra when there can be options o availing discounts. There are many sites like indianprice.com, etc. which provide massive discounts via coupon codes. They have lots of stores registered with them and if your chosen store is registered, there you go hitting the jackpot. Cross-check and who knows you might just be lucky!
4) The too-good-to-be-true offers are not all that good always
You got no idea about the extent deceits can stretch. It’s not just on the online space but everywhere but when you are putting your money online, you can just be extra careful. It won’t hurt after all. Do not fall for the too-good-to-be-true offers. If they sound too unrealistic, there is no harm checking their reliability. They can be pretty unreal. Often purchasing from those sites can just be calling for bad luck. They can be low quality or stolen items or can also be cheap substitute of tall brands. The products might just never reach you or the portal merchant might just be playing all of it up for trading your bank details with someone else.
5) Stay alert while buying a gift-card
It is always nice to make your dear ones happy with the fabulous gift cards which are available online these days. But always read the terms and conditions carefully when buying one. Also, ensure the store from where you are buying is legitimate.
6) Do not trade too much of information
7) Make a unique password if required
Often online purchasing stores ask you to create an account with them. You need not do it but just in case it seems important to you or easy, then carry on. But ensure you choose a very strong password for the account. Make it unique.
8) Go a step high to ensure the security of the site
Hold on! Just before you enter any personal or credit card info onto a shopping site please do look at the URL. See if the web address on the page begins with “https:” and not “http.” That little ‘s’ tells you the information is being encrypted to protect your information.
9) Wiring money through Western Union or Money Gram is not suggestible
Reliable sites generally do not make it a mandate for you to pay through wires. It is always wise to pay via credit or debit card. Wiring is suggestible to people you know but not to random strangers. So do not take the risk unnecessarily.
10) The grammar matters!
Might just sound very funny but do read the content that has gone on the website. If the content hosted by the portal/ the site is full of errors, typos, poor content, you can already sniff danger. They are not professional.
All in all, novice shoppers who are going to just start buying online should better stick with well known brands and famous online shopping portals rather than breaking their head in the smaller, less known ones. Once you get a grip of the online shopping fundamentals, you can always start your journey towards becoming the pro online shopper. But till then, have patience.
This is a guest article contributed by Ajeet Sharma who works for IndianCoupons.com – a coupon site helps user shopping online by providing discount coupons, promotional codes and deals for all major online shopping stores.