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How to shop safely online

Updated on June 19, 2010

 I'm sure at one point or another we have all shopped online right? But have you ever checked into what kind of site you were shopping on?

Here are some tips to make your online shopping experience more safe!

1) Make sure the business is legit. For example : If you are going to shop online make sure you are going to do it after you have researched it. Check the comments from other customers who have used the site and look for the BBB symbol. Most online stores will carry it if they are in compliance with set standards. Also make sure that they aren't going to share your personal information with anyone. Find out how long they have been in business as well.

2) Stick with what you know. If you are going to do your shopping online why not stick with the companies you already know? Companies like Walmart, Amazon, Sears etc. Don't trust just any off the wall homemade store.

3)Keep your records! This is key. Most online legit companies will email you a confirmation code or some other refrence of your payment. Keep these, print them out and file them away. They could come in handy later.

4)Be sure to always check your credit card and bank statements.... the minute you notice something out of place contact them immediately!

5) Check the policy held by the store. Check on refunds or returns. also check (like stated in #1) to see how they are going to use your personal information! If an online store says NOTHING about protecting your privacy then shop somewhere else.

6) Look for the padlock. What this means is, if a website you are visiting is secure there should be a little padlock on the bottom of your browser window. (Bet you didn't know that one)

7) Look for an "s" after the usual "http". The added "s" indicates security measures have been taken place and the site is secure.

8) When shopping online try using a pre-paid credit card. It eliminates the hassle of having to worry about your account information.

9)Last but not least...clean your computer often. There is free online software out there at places like www.zonelabs.comthat will give you spyware protection to ensure that the sites you have visited can't put spyware on your computer



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    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 7 years ago

      Here there are many useful tips! Thanks!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      EXCELLENT tips and advice, gqgirl! I do shop online but always at a reputable, known site. I'm hair-trigger "out of there" at sites, even those I've come across through Google where I might have just touched base to find a little info or an illustration of some sort. When they "latch on" and won't let go when I click the X in the top right hand corner, I will go to alt/ctrl/del if necessary to get them shut off as quickly as possible.

      No legitimate site needs or wants to cling after the computer operater tries to leave, is my take on that! I'm also wary of those which start asking one to click if one wants to add a bunch of other stuff (ususally presented as some kind of bonus for having bought what one came for - but really havign it's own hidden price or agenda - or both, and one leads to another and more and more. I'd say if it doesn't feel right, skip it altogether. There are plenty of nut-cases in real life if one wants to play with fire! Right?

      I kept noticing a small charge on a credit card statement and once I noticed it, started checking back and saw it began when I bought an airline ticket. I followed up and found that many people online had been tricked into this 'FREE' service - which I surely didn't want and was almost sure I didn't agree to - but there it was! It was on a credit card which really backs its clients and they got it stopped and I was reimbursed. But how many folks might just overlook a small, but ongoing charge like that?

      I hope a lot of folks visit this hub and realize some basic precautions before they get into online shopping - and I'm here to say it is wonderful to be able to shop online and I've had good experience with it! But using common sense and not falling for every "offer" one sees is as important here as it is anywhere in life!

      Good job, thumbs up - and I'm voting it up and rating is USEFUL!