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Safe Online Shopping

  • May 30, 2016
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Shopping online is very common.  The benefits of online shopping are clear.  Stores are always open. You don’t have to deal with crowds.  It’s easy to research and compare products before making a decision.  And you can find good deals with the click of a mouse.  Discount codes make online shopping a cheap option.

But You Should be Aware of The Risks As Well.

  • You don’t always know if a website is secure.
  • You must use a credit card or debit card.
  • It can be hard to return an item.
  • Shipping costs can be expensive.
  • You aren’t able to try on before you buy.
  • It’s easy to overspend because online shopping can be addicting.

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to be safe while shopping online:

  • Only provide private information to secure sites that have an “s” after the http (https://). Also, look for a padlock symbol next to the “https.”
  • Check if the website provides clear and detailed contact information. Scam websites often lack specific contact information like phone numbers and addresses.
  • See if there are reviews of a website if you are unsure about it.
  • Use a service like PayPal that doesn’t reveal your private information.
  • If you buy online, always check your credit card statement to make sure everything is correct and that there are not any unwanted or unknown charges.
  • Stick with popular websites that you trust.
  • Check the company’s privacy policy to see how they will use your information.
  • Never click on a random pop-up window. If you don’t know where it came from, close it! Pop-up windows can carry viruses.  If a website generates pop-up windows, you may even want to leave the website.
  • Never send private information, such as a credit card number or a checking account number, in e-mail.
  • In the event of fraud or unwanted charges, it will be more difficult to get your money back if you pay with a debit card than if you pay with a credit card.  Under the Fair Credit and Billing Act, your liability for a lost or stolen credit card is only $50.
  • Do not use an unsecured network or Internet connection to shop online.  Unsecured networks are typically found in public places such as a library or restaurant.