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Protect Yourself Online - Safe Online Shopping Tips

Updated on December 30, 2010

Shopping Online

From a person who not only makes most of her perchases on the internet, this girl also works for a company who sells to customes via the web. We are responsible for charging credit cards and handling customer service and billing related questions and concerns.

I am quite aware of what it takes to make a secure and safe purchase on the internet.

When shopping on eBay, which is probably one of my most favorite shopping grounds, always check the seller's reputation, read everything carefully, and ask all questions before making your first bid or before clicking the buy now button.

When shopping on other websites on the internet, you want to be just as careful about where you shop. You want to be leery of identity theft and cyber crimes. It happens, and it can happen to you if you're not careful.

Below, you'll find very simple tips to keeping your online shopping safe. They may seem simple to some, but you'll find that many people are not aware of these very simple tips at protecting yourself on the internet.

  • Double-check the URL

If you follow a shopping link from an e-mail or from another website, make sure the URL in the address bar matches the URL at the bottom of the browser window. A mismatch is almost a sure sign that you’ve found a fraudulent site.

  • Use secure http

Before you complete an online form with personal information, check the address box in your browser to be sure the URL begins with https: (as opposed to http:); also check the bottom of the browser window for the closed padlock icon. Both indicate that you’re on a secure website, and that the information you’re sending will be encrypted. The website may not feature the padlock, but as long as there is an 'S' after "http," the website is secured.

  • Use credit cards

Don’t use a debit card for online shopping. If there’s a security breach, the criminals have access to your bank account.

  • Use paypal

If there is the option to checkout and pay via PayPal, take advantage of this secured payment option.

  • Answer the security questions

Don’t get frustrated by security questions a vendor might ask, especially when ordering expensive items. The knowledge-based authentication questions prevent identity theft for both you and the vendor.

  • Be smart about security questions

Don’t answer the same security question on every e-merchant’s site. Change questions and answers from business to business; in particular don’t use the same question and answers on a shopping site that you use to secure your bank account. Answers to security questions don’t necessarily have to be real; use fictitious ones that you can remember.

  • Call for help

When in doubt, call your bank or the store. Ask a customer service representative to verify whether or not the communication you received is legitimate.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Great helpful advice. Thank you.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      Whitney - good advice here.

      Gus :-)))

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Whitney, wonderful tips. I love shopping online. I have found PayPal to be the most secure source to use.

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thanks for the great tips. I use PayPal whenever I can. They have a virtual credit card system that uses a dynamic number for purchases. They are great with disputes as well, as a vendor they have covered fraudulent payments and have covered my stops.

    • American_Choices profile image

      American_Choices 7 years ago from USA

      I love shopping online - sadly, I only shop Amazon and eBay - with Paypal I do have the security to shop other sites.

      These are great tips - thank you!

    • pisethz profile image

      pisethz 7 years ago

      very useful information. thank you for these tips

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 7 years ago

      I love shopping online. These are very useful tips.