Shopping online is now common place. In fact, according to a recent PRNewsWire article, 89% of consumers prefer to shop online for both the convenience and the price savings.
Even though shopping online is reaching the norm, there are still plenty of risks when providing your financial information via the Internet. When shopping online, it is extremely important to use common sense. Here are a few tips, that although seem like no-brainers, everyone should be reminded of.
- Shop on secured or reviewed sites. Using big name retailers is fairly safe- ie Amazon, Best Buy, Etsy. Look for shttp or https in the url, which indicates a secured encryption. If the site is more obscure, be sure to look for reviews of both the company and the products before making the purchase.
- Avoid shopping on unsecured networks or hotspots.Sharing your personal and financial information on a unsecured network is never a good idea.
- Never click on emailed links that you are unaware of or unsure about. This is where spammers and hackers are able to encrypt malware onto your computer to steal your information. If you see a spammy email, delete it. If a company (even a reputable one) is contacting you about an issue, go directly to the site instead of clicking through the link. Spammers are able to cloak themselves behind other names to try to trick you. The rule of thumb is, if you don’t feel comfortable, or if something feels off, don’t do it.
- Use safe payment options. Credit cards are usually the safest and allow for buyer credits if there is ever an issue. Avoid mailing cash or money wiring.
Shopping online is the easiest way to shop, you can avoid lines, spontaneous purchases (sometimes), crazy shoppers, and crowded parking lots. And we all love packages delivered direct to our door! But keep in mind that all of this convenience needs to be combined with smart shopping behaviors from you.
For more information about shopping safe and avoiding fraud, such as identity theft go to CreditReportProblems.com. Our dedicated team of lawyers have the tools and expertise to help you fix online fraud and the devastating effects that it causes.