From the way of communication to reading blogs, the population around the world slowly but surely is going online, and shopping is no exception. According to Online Shopping Statistics 2020, an estimated 1.8 billion people purchase goods online. A big number! Right? Even in this pandemic of COVID-19, online shopping has emerged as a helping hand, supports millions of buyers to sell their products online, and also provides ease to people worldwide to buy daily essentials & other things online.
But why is online shopping so popular?
Online shopping is becoming a trend because of fast deliveries, competitive pricing, a variety of products, friendly experiences, and easy returns. These are the attractive factors which makes the online platforms an ideal mode to shop.
But at the same time, how do you know which websites you can rely on for online shopping?
So, before you rush to online shopping, make sure that you’re not opening spam or malicious websites. Staying safe while you’re doing online shopping is a must. This is why we bring you a list of tips that will help you make your shopping experience safe and easy as well. So, let’s start our list-
Consider the below-listed points before you pick any random website for online shopping-
- Check for the Green Lock & HTTPS URLs
Most of the users usually ignore that green lock in URLs because they are unaware of its importance. So, here we want to highlight the first tip that you should consider while online shopping, and this is checking the green lock. You must check the site identity button, i.e., green padlock available on the left-hand side of the web address. If the padlock is missing, then it directly points towards the fact that the website is not secure and should be treated with caution.
Another thing you should consider is ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS. Here the ‘S’ is for security, which means that the communication and data sharing between you and your browser are encrypted. This way, the credential information such as credit card details will remain safe, and you can shop online without any fear of fraud or hacking.
- Shop Online Using Credit Card
Yes, that’s true! A high percentage of people around the world prefer using a debit card for online shopping. But if you ask us, then using credit cards are safer and smarter options for online shopping payments. But why choose credit cards when you have a debit card option? Credit cards offer protection for purchases, which makes it a better alternative than debit cards. When shopping online, prefer sticking to credit cards as they provide less liability if a card number gets stolen. On the other hand, debit cards are linked to a bank account, which has a high possibility of getting hacked. In short, you are putting yourself at risk while making online payment via debit cards.
- Know the Merchant
If you already know the store, then it is a bonus point as if any problem occurs, then you can simply walk into their nearby store or contact them online to help you out. But what about if you don’t know the merchant? In such a case, you need to take a few precautions to lead a safe online shopping experience. Saying clearly, then you must conduct a background check, visiting their website, and reviewing their e-stores. If you find no useful information on their website or favorable reviews, then the answer is clear and straight, don’t order from their website.
- Avoid offers that seem “too good to be true”
Offers and discounts highly attract the audience and are considered as one of the best marketing tactics to attract the customer’s eyeballs. But if we talk about the customer’s point of view, then you should be careful. Try not to be webbed into the promises of online shopping companies that offer too much at a very low price as there is a high chance that there is something wrong with it. If the price is too low, then check whether the merchant is producing services legally, if the product they are offering is worth the cost, whether the products are branded or duplicate or prefer considering a lot of other credential factors that we people usually ignore. This one such tip can save you from being trapped.
- Read Terms & Conditions
Before buying anything online, go through the terms and conditions. It will help you know more about the website offerings, their services, delivery options, and the terms and conditions applied over it. Read the terms to know if you are allowed to purchase from the store without jumping through any hoops. Such a small step from your side can save you from several unseen risks. Consider this practice, especially when you are buying a gifting card.
- Use a strong password
When someone gets access to your password, then there is a high chance that your account is at risk as that user get the accessibility to change the login password, shipping address and can carry out other stuff that can affect you financially a lot. So, it is essential to keep your account safe with a strong password.
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi
A free public wi-fi might seem convenient, but shopping online using it can put you in big trouble. But why are they considered an unsafe option? The majority of wi-fi hotspots do not encrypt the information you send over the network, which is why they are considered an unsafe option for online shopping. On these open networks, hackers can easily access your credential information, including your credit card details, email, phone numbers, and a lot more. So, if you want to shop online, prefer doing it at home with your home internet or else if you are out, then prefer using your own mobile data. Nowadays, the rise in public data hacking increases the risk of data leakage. So, it is good to stay safe, avoiding online shopping on public wi-fi.
It is good to invest in an unlimited data plan to keep your sensitive data or information safe. A little investment can be better than immense sufferings.
- Keep Software & Virus Protection Up-to-Date
Yes, it is a must. No matter whether you use a phone, tablet, or laptop for online shopping, it is good to have the latest security software on your device. It will give complete malware protection to your device. The installation of such security software is not enough. Make sure that they automatically update daily to run smoothly. There is a lot of software and virus protection available in the market. You can choose the one that you find perfect for your device. You can go through several blogs on Best antivirus software. You can also check out the online videos of tech experts and follow their recommendations for antivirus software.
Online shopping has emerged as a great practice that is transforming lives by making it easier. But what comes easily also comes with several risks. Therefore, we have curated this blog post listing the tips that will help you have a safe online shopping experience. We hope you find this blog beneficial!.