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Tips for Safe Shopping Online

One of the boons of having the internet in our lives is that we don’t have to step out of the house to buy everything. The World Wide Web is home to websites that sell a variety of products to consumers from around the world. From a small pin to expensive jewelry and gadgets, you can buy a number of things at a click of the mouse. All you need for this is a computer, an internet connection and lots of money in your e-wallet. While the prospect of getting what you want delivered to your home is fun and extremely convenient, it may not always be the safest way to acquire goods.

Besides the many genuine and credible e-commerce sites on the net are websites created by cyber criminals and hackers, with the sole intention of duping unsuspecting web users and robbing them of their money. To stay safe online and shop without being tracked, here are a few tips you should remember.

Use a secure PC connection

When you shop online, you often have to pay for the product in advance, before it is delivered to you. Online payment can be made using your credit or debit card, or using an e-wallet account that you have registered with. For all financial transactions online, you will have to enter the details of your account or card and also secure it with a password or key. To prevent hackers from getting hold of any confidential information you share on the net, you should avoid using public computers or internet connections when you shop online. Always use your own or a known secure PC connection, so that nobody can sneak in without your knowledge or steal your details.

Go for trusted sites

There are thousands of e-commerce sites out there, that sell a whole range of products to web users. Every other day, a new site is launched or a company starts its own site to sell the products directly to its customers. This can make it difficult to choose just one site, as reviewing and evaluating all the sites to know which is best is tedious and time consuming. Rather than trying and testing each and every site out there, you should stick to those that are reputed and reliable. To know about a site, look for reviews about it and see what its customers have to say. You can also read testimonials, ask your friends or family if they have used it or chat with users on a forum to know if shopping on a particular site online is safe or not.

You can also learn about a particular business by inquiring about it at the Better Business Bureau or through the RipoffReport.

Use safer payment options

Safest way to shop online is to use a credit card for payments. While obtaining credit card details may not be very difficult for a hacker, your risk when you use it is considerably less. In case of fraud, the issuer of your credit card can hold you liable for no more than $50 of the fraudulent transaction, while some may even waive it off completely.

Alternatively, you can use other payment methods like e-wallets that are secured by a password and cannot be easily misused. A few such methods include PayPal, InstaDebit, Neteller etc.

Use a separate email id

If you don’t want companies or websites to track your behavior online and do not want to receive unwanted email from them, create a separate email account to use on these sites. If possible, maintain a separate email account for your bank, credit card and other financial transactions, and avoid sharing it with anybody or any site on the web. This will reduce the amount of spam in your inbox and also the possibility of phishing or hacking attacks on your accounts.

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