With all the growing horror stories we hear or read about online identity theft in the daily news, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your personal and credit card information is not compromised and you have a safer experience. safe and pleasant purchase. The number of consumers shopping online has increased annually, currently estimated at 47%, primarily due to convenience and cost savings, and identity theft protection measures should be at the top of your list. ready. Below are 10 solid tips to ensure your shopping experience is a safe one while shopping online.
1. secure website. Use a secure website when signing in. Usually you will have the “https” in front of the URL (called a uniform resource locator); for example, https://yourwebsite.com instead of http://yourwebsite.com, indicating that the provider provides you and your credentials with a secure gateway for information and purchase. Also, you will typically have a lock icon near the login prompt or at the top of the web home page indicating secure encryption or secure site lock. Make sure you have the correct URL to avoid landing on a phishing site that may mimic your intended site.
two. Informatic security. Make sure your PC is up to date with antivirus, firewall and malware application updates. This is very important. Setting your PC for automatic updates is the preferred option.
3. Privacy statement. Read the privacy statement of the provider’s site. All reputable websites will have a privacy statement that outlines how your personal information is used, shared, and stored. It must be clear and easily understandable.
Four. Personal information. Pay close attention to the requested personal information page. Most websites require a phone number and address, any other information is voluntary and is not required or necessary to complete a purchase. Typically, the information in the requested field will contain an asterisk or be tagged as “required” before clicking to the next line or page. Unless you want to receive emails from the vendor, click the opt-in option in your promotional email notification. Some sites automatically toggle those options at the bottom of the page, so be sure to read the page carefully.
5. Key code. Use a strong password of at least eight characters when prompted to register online. Avoid using the obvious, such as dates of birth, social security numbers, last names, etc. Try to make the password alphanumeric, mix upper and lower case, and include a special character if allowed.
6. Reviews. Read reviews from other consumers about the website and the products sold. They can be a great referral source for product and website credibility.
7. credit card. What credit card should I use? If you have a prepaid or gift credit card, these are great options as they don’t contain any personal information. Use a card that has a low spending limit. Avoid using your bank debit card because it allows a potential thief to literally empty your checking account before you know it.
8. Monthly status. Examine your monthly credit card statement for unauthorized purchases and notify the card issuer as soon as possible.
9. Shipping and return policy. Read the site’s shipping and return policy for purchased goods and check if there is a return charge or damaged merchandise. Reputable websites will have a clear and concise return policy.
10 Documentation. Keep all receipts, shipments and communications in case of fraud or unauthorized purchase. You may need them to mitigate the problem.
There you have it wrapped up in a neat little package! Following the above guidelines while shopping online will give you peace of mind and ensure a safe and happy transaction without potentially emptying your bank account.