Shopping online offers lots of benefits that you won’t find shopping in a store or by mail. The internet is always open—seven days a week, 24 hours a day—and bargains can be numerous online. With the click of a mouse you can buy an airline ticket, book a hotel, send flowers to a friend, or purchase your favorite fashions. The following tips can help you stay secure while doing your shopping online:
- Know who you are dealing with. Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or problems. Contact the seller promptly if you have any problems with your order.
- Beware of pop-up windows and sudden emails. If you get an email or pop-up message while you’re browsing that asks for financial information, don’t reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email. In fact, clicking on the link in the email might allow spyware on your system. Giving out confidential information via pop-ups or email can also lead to fraud or identity theft. Delete any suspicious emails, and close unwanted pop-ups by clicking on the “x” box in the top right corner—never click inside the pop-up window itself.
- Know exactly what you are buying. Read the seller’s description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like “refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out” may indicate the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with “too good to be true” prices could be counterfeits.
- Know what it will cost. Check out websites that offer price comparisons, and then (more…)