Tips For A Safer Online Shopping Experience

1 year ago by Martha Obike 240 Views

Shopping online can provide a ton of advantages for the consumer. From getting the best bargains, a wide variety of selection of products which can be truly overwhelming, fast shipping, and having to return goods you have issues with, easily to the retailers. While online shopping is a convenient process of making purchases at your fingertips, getting quick and swift delivery the next day, and receiving the best deals out of products, it is not totally a safe or secure experience for the consumer. It is important to protect yourself while shopping online, so here are some tips to keep in mind to enjoy a safer and secure online shopping experience.

Use Your Mobile Phone Network Over Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is accessible anywhere, from shops, restaurants, coffee shops, airports, hotels and it is a commodity which consumers enjoy, the ability to have access to the internet and stay connected with little or no cost at all. However, when you are shopping online, avoid using public Wi-Fi. No matter how public Wi-Fi may be convenient, it is associated with so many risks, insecure and easy to attack.

Instead use a secure connection, preferably data provided by your network provider– also make sure your computer’s firewall is on. If you use a wireless network it needs to be encrypted so anyone who is lurking outside the house can’t collect your information. Avoid making any financial transactions when using a public network, you don’t know how it may be compromised.

Opt For Only Familiar Websites

Rather than shopping with a search engine, use a trusted website. Search results are often rigged to lure you in a different direction, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. It's best to stick to familiar and popular brands you can trust like Jumia, Konga or Jiji online stores. However, before you shop online with a new website, conduct your own research and read reviews of other consumers or on sites concerned with reviewing e-commerce stores, to find out if other consumers have had positive or negative experiences with the websites.

Look For The Padlock

When making a purchase online and you have to input your personal or credit card information, always use a secure connection. Look for websites which use technologies such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) that encrypt data during transmission. You would get to know if a website has SSL if the URL for the website starts with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). The ‘s’ in HTTPS stands for secure. Also, An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or preceding the URL in the address bar. It depends on which browser you are using. Remember, don't ever give anyone your credit card information over email.

Beware Of ‘Too Good To Be True’ Sales Offers

It's not uncommon to find e-stores which advertise unbelievable sales offers on products. Treat with little skepticism, e-stores which promises too much at too low a price to the consumer. If items are priced significantly lower than it should be, you should be doubtful of the legitimacy and authenticity of the website, the merchant may not have come by the items legally, you probably won't ever receive the items you paid for, the items may not be actually the brand shown or a cheap substitute, if the item would probably not work, you wouldn’t be able to return damaged goods – or the merchant is earning extra income by selling your financial information.

Use Credit Cards And Secure Payment Methods

Instead of a debit card, use a credit card because it offers an extra protection to consumers while shopping. A credit card is not linked to any funds you may actually own and there's a limit on the monetary amount you will be accountable for paying if your information is stolen and used by someone else. It's advisable to use also use secure payment methods like PayPal as these providers act as a kind of middleman, and you have to deliver payment to them so they can then pass it onto the retailer. Your bank details would always be hidden. 

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