Safe purchases online. When it comes to modern day shopping, an increasing amount of purchases are made online. It is no longer just for high technology goods, but almost everything, including food, clothing, furniture and even electronics. Regardless of how much money is involved, you want to be sure that your information and your money is safe.
Before making a payment online it is a good idea to ensure that the connection that you are making the payment over is secure. You should also be sure that if you are shopping over WiFi that the connection is secure, and not a shared or public internet connection because on public connections it is easy to intercept and steal information such as passwords.
When you are using a web browser to send information online, it is most commonly sent as plain text. This means that if there is some way of someone intercepting the information, it can be seen and read easily. So for instance if you are inputting a banking password, or a credit card number it could be read, copied and later used by someone who is not authorized to use it. This may lead to the theft of your personal information or worse-your money.
A secure connection (HTTPS) sends the information in an encrypted form. In this way, even if the data is intercepted by a third party, they cannot view the data and so it is pointless to save it for later use against you. To have a HTTPS connection the site must have an officially issued security certificate.
Another important consideration for the safe purchases online is safety of online shopping is to keep your anti-virus software up to date. A computer that is compromised by a virus or other malware may have it’s keystrokes recorded, or information stolen in other ways. Keeping your computer as clean as possible reduces the chances of this kind of theft.
Reputation is another important tool in ensuring your financial safety. The major and well known sites, such as Amazon are generally well trusted, with good returns policies. However if you have never heard of the site that you are considering shopping with before, you won’t have the benefit of reputation to make a judgment.
A quick internet search for the site can often be enough to judge whether they are a good or a bad risk. This is especially so if the site name is combined with terms such as ‘scam’, ‘rip off’, or ‘reviews’. These and other terms can help to show up problems that other people have had with a particular site, so that you can avoid it.
Payment processors such as Paypal can offer protection by ensuring that a third party site never sees your credit card information. Instead they see only your Paypal information. There is still a risk if someone else were you learn your password, but fraudulent charges can be fought, giving you essentially a second layer of protection.
It’s important to remember that if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. Shopping online can be perfectly safe if sensible precautions are taken. Common sense and a very small amount of checking is all that is needed to reduce the risks to the minimum.