Safe Online Shopping: 10 Tips to Avoid Getting Burned

You have to buy gifts for the holidays and you need to purchase them quickly. It is possible to either brave the madness of purchasing at your neighborhood mall or kick back at home and buy all of your gifts online. Doing all your holiday shopping online can be a great way to save time while you find the right gifts at the best price. You’ll miss the parking lot wars, avoid obtaining the flu from your fellow shoppers, and remain 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 make certain your electronic digital ‘purse strings’ are safe and sound. Here are some simple tips for safe online shopping:

Secure your computer. Ensure that your family computer has updated security computer software installed, and run regular program check to help keep hackers’ keylogging viruses away.

ONLY shop from home. Don’t do your online shopping from the local caf�, the airport or additional public places. These open networks are easier targets for identification thieves to hack into your computer. Only shop from your secured home network.

Click carefully. Your preferred store just sent you a great discount! But wait! Before you select email links, be sure of where they lead. Rip-off emails can look just like the real ones from your favorite stores, with links that appear to take you to legitimate sites. But hover on the link and you may see a different web address – this may be a fake site, designed to gather your credit card facts for fraud. Your safest wager would be to manually navigate to your favorite retailer’s website.

Know thy merchant. One of best parts of online shopping is effortlessly comparing prices to locate a great deal. You may find the gift you want for half the price – but make certain the merchant is reliable and trustworthy. If you haven’t done company with a merchant before, look for online reviews. Applying aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Buying is another good way to make sure your merchant doesn’t consider you for a fraudulent sleigh ride.

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

Log out. Always logout safely when leaving a website.

Check if your payment particulars are stored. Some online store shopping sites ask in order to store your payment specifics for future purchases. It’s always handy to have your information stored, especially if you utilize that site often. But, watch out for this on lesser-known websites.

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

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

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