The idea of ordering something from the comfort of your home and having it arrive days later is very appealing. Whether it be for the speed or the convenience, Americans are shopping online more than ever before. While the perks of online shopping may sound ideal, buyers should be aware of safe practices while surfing the web for a great deal.
Do Homework: Before entering your information, research the website, its policies, and reviews. It’s important to make sure the site is reputable before making a purchase.
Do Know What Information to Provide: It is normal for sites to ask for names, addresses, phone numbers, and debit/credit card numbers. Never give out your bank routing number, social security number, or driver’s license number.
Do a URL Check: Scammers often replicate sites but use different extensions like .ru, .cc, or .cn instead of .com. Make sure you check the site’s URL.
Do Frequent Statement Checks: Online shoppers should regularly check statements after making a purchase. This allows you to immediately catch anything out of the ordinary.
Do a Quality Check: Most online retailers have a toll-free customer service line. Give the number a call to very credibility, especially if this is your first time buying from this seller.
Don’t Fall Victim: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful of ‘Today Only’ or ‘24-Hour’ Deals. Make sure you do your research on the company and its products.
Don’t Use a Personal or Business Email: Shoppers should create an email specifically for online purchases. This avoids overloading important inboxes, and it lessens the burden if the email is ever hacked.
Don’t Allow Time to Pass: Once your order arrives, inspect it immediately. It is much easier to get refunded or have the item replaced soon after it originally arrives. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to be refunded.
Don’t Shop on Public Computers: Entering personal information on computers other than your own puts you at risk of having important information stolen. You should never online shop on a public computer like those found in libraries or coffee shops.
Don’t Click on Suspicious Links: Scammers have learned to take advantage of our online shopping habits. Be careful of the websites you visit and the links you click while shopping online. Some links may put a virus on your computer or give someone access to important personal information.
Remember, online shopping may be appealing, but it is important to understand the potential drawbacks if best practices are not properly utilized. Make sure you are protecting yourself and your family when making online purchases.