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Safe Shopping Online

Updated on March 9, 2011

Author: W. K. Hayes

Safe ways to shop online

Shopping online is by the far the best way to get exactly what you want but before you make your next purchase you really should read this article and consider this advice as solid thinking.

When shopping online, always look for any method of payment that does not include putting your credit or debit card, online. Having made that mistake, I soon found myself with $2,500 in overdraft protection fees. Granted, I am fairly certain that the thief was caught and made to pay restitution. However, I am also certain the bank kept my money as well. So, avoid using your banking account information online, at all times. Fact is, do not keep any banking records, account information or otherwise, on your computer.

Hackers can literally use programs that will allow them to access files on your computer, including banking information which, is their primary target. Do not get me wrong, these cyber-thieves also want all of your personal information as well. Anything a Cyber-Thief can use to gain your credit, access to banking information or information of value, has been thought of and is out there in cyber-space ready to rob you blind

If you cannot resist the urge to buy something that does require a credit card, get a pre-paid credit card and keep the balance as close to the amount you plan on spend, as possible. Far better is it to lose three dollars and change then to get stuck with horrendous amounts of overdraft fees. I do recall reading a news article that the government was trying to kill off over-draft fees a few years back but whether or not that has happened, I don’t know since I avoid using banks after what had happened.

Another good suggestion for buying online is the use of postal money orders. Make sure you get insurance on the letter containing your order and keep the receipt for both, the insurance and the money order. Send the letter with your money order, certified to ensure delivery and confirmation. Doing so will give you solid proof that the seller did indeed, receive payment.

One of the most important things to do is double check everything about your order. If the product has an order number or a part number, triple check you have the right one. The last thing you want is a company arguing with you about your order being incorrect. For them, having to wait for the return and shipping the right item is costly and they may very well charge you, for the exchange

Make sure you have the correct address for the seller and absolutely make sure you give the right address. Once, I inadvertently gave the wrong zip code and the item I ordered was sent to the wrong address. Instead of the person doing the right thing and returning the item to the seller, they kept it for themselves. So, triple check your addresses and make certain they are right.

Buy from reputable sellers. Above all else, have a good idea of the company or individual you are buying from. The easiest way to do this is to send them an email asking them a question about their products or services. If you do not get a reply within a day or two, try looking elsewhere. A good online company will be quick to answer any questions you have and the tone of their reply should be friendly and courteous.

The website you are ordering from should be easy to contact, easy to use and operated in the same country where you live with very few exceptions. If you think getting your money back is hard enough from the seller two states over, try getting your money back from a foreign country.

Ultimately, be safe when shopping online. Use prepaid credit cards and postal money orders. Avoid ordering from overseas and always keep complete records of each transaction and never, ever use you banking information online for any reason.

Thank you for reading my article and have a great day!



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    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Happy New Year to you, too! Hopefully, the lessons I learned the hard way will help a lot of people find the easier paths in life.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice hub and useful information. I thought we all glad to follow your tips. Thanks for share with us. Happy New Year!