Safe Online Shopping: 10 Tips to Avoid Getting Burned

You have to buy gifts for the holiday season and you need to purchase them quickly. It is possible to also brave the madness of shopping at your neighborhood mall or kick back at home and buy all your gifts online. Doing all your holiday shopping online can be quite a great way to save 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 shoppers, and remain out of pick-pockets’ crosshairs. But though it might be easy and convenient to look in your pajamas, you still need to take precautions to be sure your electronic ‘purse strings’ are safe and secure. Here are some simple strategies for safe online shopping:
Secure your computer. Make sure your home computer has updated security computer software installed, and run regular method check to help keep hackers’ keylogging viruses away.
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ONLY shop from home. Don’t do your web shopping from the local caf�, the airport or various 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 an excellent discount! But wait! Before you select email links, be certain of where they lead. Fraud emails can look similar to the real ones from your own favorite stores, with 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, designed to gather your credit card data for fraud. Your safest bet is to manually navigate to your favorite retailer’s website.
Know thy merchant. One of best elements of online shopping is simply comparing prices to find a great deal. You might find the gift you want for half the price – but make certain the merchant is reputable and trustworthy. If you haven’t done organization with a merchant before, search for online reviews. Making use of aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Browsing is another good way to make certain your merchant doesn’t consider you for a fraudulent sleigh ride.
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 one’s browser – indicates an extra level of security for the online shopping.
Log out. Always logout safely when leaving a website.
Check if your payment specifics are stored. Some online purchasing sites ask in order to store your payment information for future purchases. It certainly is handy to have your details stored, especially if you use that site often. But, look out for this on lesser-known websites.
Compare ‘real’ prices. Be sure to know how much you will end up charged for shipping, and when there are any taxes or fees which will be added to your web purchase. These ‘extras’ can add up quickly, so make sure to include them when comparison browsing. Many retailers offer free shipping and delivery around the holidays, among others allow free in-store pick-up of your online purchases – easy ways to add extra cost savings to your holiday shopping.
Know the Return Policy. Read the merchant’s return policy prior to making your purchase. Among the downsides of online shopping may be the inability to ‘try it on’ or start to see the item before purchasing, so make sure your merchant offers you a good way to return/refund your purchase if it’s not what you expected.

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