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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 12, 2018
Headline for 05 Tips for Safe Online Shopping - Stay Safe while Enjoying the Convenience
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Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Tips for Safe Online Shopping - Stay Safe while Enjoying the Convenience

Online shopping comes with many perks; however, many fear the use of their credit cards to purchase goods online will result in theft and fraud. As such, here is a list of tips to stay safe.

1

Stick to Familiar Websites

Begin your online shopping experience at a trusted and well known site; for example, Amazon.com is well known as is eBay via PayPal. You can shop for just about every type of item on these sites and conduct secure transactions. Be wary of logging onto sites via search engines, as these can be structured to trick and lead you astray, also be mindful of popular sites which suddenly crop up with a different top level name, such as '.net', instead of '.com'. There are plenty of home depot sites such as Target, Woolworths, IKEA etc. as well as, established local online department stores such as Clicknshop where you can shop safely for all your needs. Make sure the site has proper authenticity before giving out your vital information; with an increase in online shopping in Sri Lanka plenty of authenticated shopping sites are now active, where you can conduct secure transactions.

2

Always Look for the Lock

Only use your credit card on sites which have an SSL encryption – (secure sockets layer). You can tell if a site has SSL if the URL is displayed as HTTPS:// if it's just HTTP:// then it is not a blocked site. An icon with a locked padlock saying secure will also appear on the status bar confirming this fact. This icon will appear right next to the URL or at the end of the status bar; it depends on your browser. A point to note is that you must never give out your credit card details via e-mail.

3

Don't Give Out Too Much Information

It is not necessary to give out all information to an online store; they do not need to know when your birthday is or your social security number. In the wrong hands, combined with your credit card details, you could be the victim of a scam. The more information a crook gathers, the easier it is to indulge in identity theft. Hence, where possible, give out the least amount of information.

4

Periodically Check Statements

You don't have to wait for your monthly statements to double check your debit card, credit card and checking account balances. Go online and check that all activity pertaining to these cards are validated and not fraudulent payments. Even payments made to PayPal and similar sites should be double checked. If you do spot a fraudulent transaction, inform your bank immediately, you have 30 days to inform the bank and follow up on the statements, so be proactive. Also, make sure your credit card payments are made only once you have confirmed all charges are correct.

5

Make Sure Your PC is Protected

A skilled swindler does not have to sit around waiting for you to unwittingly dish out personal information; they can easily access this via your PC. Hence, make sure your malware is up-to-date and your PC is protected from any spyware with a good antivirus and internet security system.

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