Purchasing goods through the Internet is a simple way to save your money and time. Yet, it is also a simple way to get into an unpleasant situation when one can be attacked by scammers or just unfair sellers. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways in which you can minimise the risks of unpleasant consequences of online shopping.
Check the reviews of a shop in which you would like to buy something online
Of course, today there are thousands of people getting paid for writing fake reviews, however, a thorough research of the Internet can anyway give you some good understanding of the trustworthiness of a particular online store.
Actually, real customers are more prone to leaving bad reviews in case anything wrong happened with their purchase rather than positive ones. This means that an unfair seller has certainly got at least a couple of negative reviews which you can find searching not only the comment section of the official website of the shop but other websites as well as special groups and communities on social networks.
Use a password manager
Undeniably, you are aware of the fact the best practice is using different passwords for any online service you are using. Needless to say, this means memorising a great number of passwords and of course keeping in mind the websites they have been created for. Still, this should not discourage you from creating different passwords. In order to manage them better, use one of password manager which will keep all of your passwords with association to the respective online services. In this case you will need to remember only one password to the manager itself.
Do not use your major email address for registration
The best practice will be creating a separate email address for shopping. This is so since some scammers can get access to your email which can be dangerous if it is used for online banking or particular private conversations. What you certainly should not do is using your major email address for online shopping.
Do not register with the help of social networks
One of the common mistakes made by people who would like to shop online is creating customer accounts using their social networks. Even if the shop is not going to steal your money, it will still make it simple for the scammers to get all of your personal information. An alternative way of registering has already been mentioned before – use a special email address and save a unique password with a password manager.
Use a separate payment card or online wallet for online purchases
It is recommended to have a separate wallet or card for online shopping. Add some moderate amount of money there just for your shopping sessions. In such a way, you will be avoid losing large amounts of money in case the shop you have chosen turns out to be unfair. It will be even safer if you set a limit for paying cash from this card or wallet.
Avoid shops without HTTPS protocol
Although HTTPS protocol has become standard, you can still come across websites which do not have such protocols. This can be checked by looking at the address of an online shop. It should start with https. If it starts with just http and misses s, it means using such a service can make your payment data vulnerable to getting stolen. Remember that the letter S in HTTPS stands for the word “safe”.
Type the address of the shop manually
If you are copying the address of the shop you would like to buy something in, you are risking to miss some important differences between the original address of your shop and the address you actually have. This is so since there are many fake services pretending to be popular shopping websites. One of the ways in which they are attracting people are addresses imitating the original addresses of such shops.
For that reason, typing an address manually, you will easily notice such differences as for instance a missing letter in the domain name or an attempts of scammers to use a digit 0 instead of a letter “o”.