How to Do Safe Online Shopping

By: Harry Shane

There's a principle of duality that many people believe in. It simply states that there's always a counterpart for every single thing in the universe: bad for good, darkness for light, night for day, etc. For some, however, two opposite things are not necessarily a duality. For them, it's more of the absence of one thing that makes way for another to exist (i.e. in the absence of good, for example, there's evil). Whatever you believe in, we can all agree that there always opposing or opposite forces everywhere.

In the online universe, there are also those that prey on naÔve or unsuspecting users. This makes it really important for those who transact online, whether they're buying or selling things, to be wary of internet-based fraudsters and the like.

If you do your regular shopping via the World Wide Web, here are some ways you can stay safe:

Know how to discern a legitimate site from one that's not - For the uninitiated, this could be a tall order. Some sites may appear to be legitimate, but there are tell-tale signs that can show that a site is not. Things like poor and sloppy design, a domain that doesn't make sense, and pop-up windows galore. Big and established ecommerce stores are always your safest bets. You can also ask for recommendations from friends who have had good experience with a certain online shop.

Look before you click - Just like you don't just jump into the water if you can't swim and you literally and figuratively look before you leap, you should also avoid clicking on every hyperlink you see, especially those that are embedded in spammy emails. These links may either redirect you to a scam site or worse, install a virus into your system.

Choose secure websites - Experts say that your preference when it comes to choosing secure websites must be those URLs (uniform resource locator), also called address bars, that start with 'https' instead of the regular 'http.' You also have to make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date to keep your system safe from viruses that are all over the net.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card - Debit cards are much easier to fall prey to fraudsters since there's already money in it. Use your credit card instead when shopping. Additionally, you should also make use of the automatic identity-theft protection that usually comes with your credit card. If you see charges on your billing statement on things you didn't purchase, alert your credit card company immediately so they can investigate.

Change your passwords regularly - This can be a bit of a hassle for some, especially for those who find it hard to remember names, let alone passwords. What you can do is to have a secure document where you can note down all your passwords and even your different user names. Be sure to have a different user password for various online retailers and bank accounts.

These are some of the things you can do to stay on the safe side when doing online transactions that involve money. Whatever you're planning to buy - from your health supplements to tables - always stay on your toes and be wary of frauds so you can stay safe.

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Harry Shane is an online shopping expert and blogger, offering practical tips and ways to get the best bargain for shoppers around the world. He recommends that you visit Getprice comparison site if you're looking for pool tables.

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