Safe Online Shopping: 10 Ideas to Avoid Getting Burned

You need to buy gifts for the holiday season and you have to purchase them quickly. You can often brave the madness of store shopping at your neighborhood mall or kick back at home and buy all your gifts online. Doing all your holiday shopping online can be a great way to save lots of time while you find the appropriate gifts at the best price. You’ll skip the parking lot wars, avoid getting the flu from your fellow buyers, and stay out of pick-pockets’ crosshairs. But though it can be easy and convenient to look in your pajamas, you nevertheless still need to take precautions to make certain your digital ‘purse strings’ are safe and sound. Here are some simple strategies for safe online shopping:
Secure your computer. Ensure that your family computer has updated security application installed, and run regular method check to keep hackers’ keylogging viruses away.
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ONLY shop from your home. Don’t do your online shopping from the neighborhood caf�, the airport or some other public places. These open networks are easier targets for identification thieves to hack into your computer. Only shop from your own secured home network.
Click carefully. Your favorite store just sent you a great coupon! But wait! Before you click on email links, be sure of where they lead. Scam emails can look just like the real ones from your favorite stores, with back links that appear to take you to legitimate sites. But hover over the link and you may visit a different web address – this could be a fake site, made to gather your credit card data for fraud. Your safest bet is to manually navigate to your preferred retailer’s website.
Know thy merchant. One of best elements of online shopping is simply comparing prices to locate a great deal. You might find the gift you want for half the price – but make sure the merchant is reputable and trustworthy. In the event that you haven’t done company with a merchant before, search for online reviews. Making use of aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Browsing is another good way to make sure your merchant doesn’t take you for a fraudulent sleigh drive.
Lock down your site. Once you visit a retailer’s website, search for “https” at the start of the URL. This “s” – plus a small gold secure the lower-right corner of your browser – indicates an extra level of security for your online shopping.
Log out. Always logout securely when leaving a website.
Check if your payment particulars are stored. Some online shopping sites ask if you want to store your payment information for future purchases. It’s always handy to have your information stored, especially if you utilize that site often. But, look out for this on lesser-known websites.
Compare ‘real’ prices. Ensure you know how much you can be charged for shipping, and when there are any taxes or fees that will be added to your web purchase. These ‘extras’ can truly add up quickly, so be sure you include them when comparison store shopping. Many retailers offer free shipping and delivery around the holidays, and others allow free in-store pick-up of your online purchases – easy methods to add extra savings to your holiday shopping.
Know the Return Policy. Browse the merchant’s return policy before making your purchase. One of the downsides of online shopping is the inability to ‘try it on’ or start to see the item before purchasing, so make sure your merchant offers you an easy way to return/refund your purchase if it’s not what you expected.

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