Online shopping is not all that so easy and safe especially as we approach Christmas season. We live at a time where, at the click of a mouse, you can get anything you want to be delivered to your doorstep. Incidentally, the age of the internet has also given rise to new waves of crime. Your personal information can travel all over the world within a second where fraudsters and scammers can gain access to it.
Some of the ways you can ensure safety while shopping online this Christmas season include:
Shop at a Reputable Site
There are thousands, if not millions, of fraudulent sites out there. These are often micro-sites which copy the content of real brands and claim to offer huge discounts in popular products. Unsuspicious visitors see the adds of what seems to be a great shopping opportunity in the social media and rush off to those scams to buy the smartphone or laptop of their dreams. They even see images of products familiar to them. There is also a supposed count down timer to make the visitor buy without second thought or further research before the time runs out. The fraud gets the money, and the customers get nothing. These scams make big profits in just one day.
At the same time, there are several good shopping sites like Amazon and eBay that spend thousands of dollars yearly to protect their brand and customers. Shop at these, bookmark them and be wary of tempting offers from unknown sites. You can find out if an e-shop is fake by googling the “URLofthesite Review”. It won’t take more than a minute.
Always Safeguard Your Personal Information
Since scammers and fraudsters require information to succeed, don’t put too much personal data on the internet. Every site should have a policy on how they use the information collected from you. Make sure you read and understand this and if a site doesn’t have such policy, don’t take the risk.
Beware Of Strange Offers
Don’t be greedy. If an offer is too good to be true, then in all likelihood, it is. Stop signing up for every free offer on the internet. You will only end up with unsolicited mails in your inbox which might contain potentially harmful materials. Here is a good guide for discounted products.
Be Careful What You Download
Downloading from the internet comes with a set of risks as downloadable files can contain harmful programs that can expose you and your computer. Make sure you only download from trusted sites.
Don’t Click On That Link
Our emails nowadays are awash with promotional offers and ads. Clicking on links in these mails can give the sender instant access to your computer and personal information. Avoid clicking on mails from unknown sources. Learn to make use of the report spam button that comes with most email accounts.
Always look for https:// in the address box as this is a sort of guarantee that you are exactly on the site you wanted to be.
Practice Password Safety
It is a good idea to change your password from time to time. Also, combine letters, numbers, upper-case and special characters when creating one. Don’t share your password with anyone and don’t use words people might guess easily.
Regularly Inspect Your Credit Card Statement
This will allow you to monitor your spending and detect any fraudulent activity on your account. Waiting for the end of the month for your financial statements might not be the best as any damage done to your account might not be detected soon enough.
Take Immediate Action
Inform your credit card provider to stop all pending payments on your credit card whenever you notice suspicious activity in your account. Yes, there may be a fee attached to doing this but this single action, taken promptly, can save you a lot of headaches later.
Use Virtual Credit Cards
Identity theft and credit card fraud are two big threats to online shoppers, and thousands of people are falling victim daily. Using virtual credit cards for your online shopping will give you some considerable level of protection against these. Many virtual credit cards work by giving you extra layers of protection against fraud while some just give you an alternate identity online.
Keep Your Computer Protected – Cost Is Not An Issue Anymore
The best thing to do for your computer is to get an antivirus system to protect computer hacking and data theft. You can’t, however, just get free trials that come with your computer packet or make use of trials from various brands of antivirus software. A name to remember in the line of antivirus programs is Norton and budget doesn’t have to be a factor when you have a Norton antivirus coupon. Qetes editor says there is no excuse to avoid installing an internet security software because of its cost. Symantec Inc. has been giving incentives to all computer users with norton coupons and promotional offers. A usual norton discount coupon gives a 15% off.