Online shopping is very popular these days because of the convenience it provides to customers. Online Shopping breaks barriers such as location, speed of order and delivery and variety of choices. Almost everything can be bought online now with online shops dramatically rising over the years. Online vendors accept payment through online payment features of credit cards and ATM savings accounts. This makes online shopping very risky. Here are some tips to avoid being a victim of online fraud and identity theft:
- Guard your personal, ATM, and credit card information
Do not share or let others access your ATM/credit card PIN and its relevant information
- Keep your computer Operating System, Internet Browser and Anti-virus updated
Windows and internet browsers provide regular updates against phishing and malware. Phishing sites are bogus sites that replicate the real online shopping sites. Ensure that you always download the latest patch for your operating system and internet browser. These patches protect you from fake sites and hackers. Updated browsers also provide better encryption, such as Secure Sockets Layer or SSL, to secure personal information during transmission from one site to another. Use anti-virus to guard against spyware that log keystrokes that are sent to hackers. Avoid conducting online transactions using computers in public such as internet cafe in which you do not have control over its security.
- Choose Trusted Websites
Verify first the online shop that you are dealing with. Look for the TRUSTe, WebTrust and VeriSign logos before making any transactions.
Since hackers can duplicate a site image, you can verify the URL if it is the real site. Ensure that the https protocol is indicated in the URL. VeriSign also has this feature that the address bar turns green if the site is safe. Other online shopping sites displays a padlock at the status bar(bottom part) of the browser.
- Keep track of your credit card transactions
Always verify transactions made with your credit card. Online payments must be checked through online verification facilities or express phone facilities of credit cards/ATM.
Never assume that everything is safe. Transactions online will always be exposed to risk. It is up to us to guard all the dealings we make online.
Happy Safe Online Shopping.