Online shopping has virtually become the ‘in’ thing today primarily because of the convenience it offers. One does not have to be stressed out roaming around stores and malls squeezing in and out of the crowd, falling in line, shopping hurried and carelessly, and tiring yourself going to and from your home to stores and shops. Online shopping eliminates these hassles but consumers are exposed to dangers online. Despite doing their best to protect themselves against frauds, shams, and online robbery though, some still forget basic practices. This renders them vulnerable with different online malpractices.
Here are some of the most overlooked safety practices that people need to be reminded for their own protection.
- Protect and update your system. Before you go online shopping, make sure your computer is virus-free. Do regular virus scans and don’t forget to update your anti virus software. Also, it’s a good practice to run firewall software that prevents unauthorized access to your machine.
- Use your credit card. The advantage of using your credit card is that you are able to get hold of information about your online shopping activities. So when you complain of any fraudulent transactions, you can always refer to your card and ask for indemnities.
- Log out properly of a session. Online shopping requires you to log in on merchants’ sites. However, some people unconsciously fail to log out and hackers are able to retrieve their file while shopping online.
- Do your research. Before interacting with online sellers, some people are just too trusting and do not perform background check when it comes to the legitimacy of online traders. Some of the things that you should look out for are privacy clauses, signs that the business is legitimate, and of course customer reviews.
- Read fine print. People go online shopping because it is perceived as cheaper that shopping on land based shops and stores. However, some people forget or ignore reading terms and conditions of sites, and consequently suffer hidden costs such as additional taxes, freight charges, cancellation costs among others.
So before you start shopping online, review and implement these 5 most overlooked safety practices to make sure you are protected against online shopping scams and crimes.