Has a product caught your attention online, and now you plan to buy it? Well, wait! Before moving ahead with the chosen product on an online store, make sure you find out if it is a safe place to shop from! Considering the safety features of the store is an excellent way to rely on an online shopping store and a smart way to avoid unpleasant scams.
Dissimilar to in the past, when people went to a retail shop to buy online, with the advent of ecommerce stores, people have changed their preferences. People prefer shopping virtually because of various reasons. You have mind-boggling offers, a fantastic range of products, safe shopping, secure shipping, and other conveniences. Post-covid, this has taken a steep rise.
But you have the bad guys. According to the FBI’s IC3, the highest cybercrime in 2019 in 25 of the 50 states was linked to online shopping, specifically, the non-delivery of goods bought.
However, the stats don’t deter people from shopping online. However, it does have raised their concerns about looking for safe online stores to shop from. All you need to do is use your common and follow casual advice.
Here are some tips to help you find a safe website for online shopping:
To ensure the authenticity of an online store, you should follow some rules and follow them whenever you make a purchase online. You can become a pioneer in choosing safe online stores and avoiding potential scammers by following these rules.
Look for the padlock icon.
Browsing between different sites, some websites begin with HTTP, while others start with HTTPS. The safe online stores begin with HTTPS secured by SSL certificate, which offers higher reliability and security to payments done on the store. Do not buy anything from a website without an SSL certificate. A Secure Socket Layer is a digital protocol that secures the in-transit data by encrypting the same, which the intended recipient can only decode. It keeps your customer’s login and payment details secure.
SSL certs are available at three different validation levels, OV, DV and EV. However, the encryption level provided by all of them remains the same; the only difference lies in the intensity of verification carried out by the issuing Certificate Authority before granting the certificate.
EV or Extended Validation SSL Certificates offer higher identity assurance with additional trust and prevent online shopping stores from being targeted for phishing attacks. In addition, the EV SSL Certificates enhance the reliability and safety of the website connection that can be identified through a secure padlock icon and company details.
Comments and reviews
Reading customer reviews through forums is essential to determine if a website is reliable enough to buy from. When you read reviews related to the website or its products, you can judge how shopping on that website will be from others’ experiences. You have to write the website name and follow the word “review” on a search engine to get all the details.
But, this is not so simple! You have to be cautious about the comments too. Sometimes, the website itself may add positive comments through its employees. Hence, if you find a mix of positive and negative comments, you can mark them authentic.
Social profile contacts
A secure website will always be active on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. So always take a look at the social connections of the website to get an insight into the company and assess its reliability.
Details of the company
The safest way to shop online is to look out for stores with their company data on the footer. They should have details like the name of the company, headquarter, physical address, contact number, etc.
Start with a small purchase.
If you are still confused about the store, it is suggested to place a small order. This way, you will get the chance to know if the product was delivered to you, the website’s customer service, and the condition the product arrives.
Assess the right of withdrawal policies
An authentic website will have all details related to the right of withdrawal, the facility to return the product within 14 days. This policy offers a refund of the amount of money that has been done to make the purchase. If a website doesn’t offer return policies, it is not secure!
Choose known websites
Begin from a trusted website. Search results can take you astray. There is a low risk of a rip-off if you know the website. Everyone knows Amazon; likewise, choose major retail outlets to shop from. Beware of copycats, misspellings, and domains using .net rather than .com. You may find sales on these websites alluring, but they are just tricks to dupe you.
Stay alert when checking special offers.
Always compare the product price with other websites. If it is too good to be a valid offer, double-check it. If the price is excessively low, the website is a scam.
Do not overshare
No online store needs your ID proof, Social Security Number, or birthday details. However, it will be highly beneficial for the crooks. The more hackers know, the simpler it gets for them to hack your identity. Hence, make sure you share as small personal details as possible.
Choose strong passwords
It is important to choose strong passwords, and even after selecting them, you should regularly change them. Always use uncrackable passwords when shopping online. Instead, create a unique password and if you cannot do it, use a password manager to make one for you.
Regularly check your statement.
Do not wait for your monthly bills to come. Instead, make sure you check your statement online regularly. It will help you alert for any transaction that you did not do.
The safe online stores mention their contact details, physical address, and contact number. A serious company will provide you with the best customer service and answer all your queries.
Make use of the website’s reputation services.
Some services alert you about a website being genuine or not. For instance, Google Alerts offers benefits from their assessment tools. A scammer will never have this service on its website. Also, keep in mind that a website with minor details or lesser products shouldn’t be trusted.
Use your phone rather than your card.
Pay for your shopping using your phone rather than a credit card. Mobile payments need authentication codes for the purchase. Hence, no one can steal and use your details. There are several payment apps available to help you shop online.
Check the shipping terms of the website.
Some stores charge excessive shipping levies, making your affordable shopping a costly mistake. Check out to see if they offer tracking details and insurance. Also, check the carriers they use and stay alert if the item is not shipped within ten days.
Enquire about every concern you have
Get all your queries answered. Then, speak to the customer support team to find out everything concerning your purchase. Once you are satisfied, proceed with the purchase.
There are numerous efficient methods to assess the safest way to shop online and make your purchase in peace. Just use the above-given techniques along with them, and you’re done! The practical tips mentioned above will help you make safe purchases without getting scammed. The last information is to seek recommendations of secure websites from your friends, family members, relatives and colleagues. Word of mouth can help you make satisfactory purchases and end your hunt for safe sites. Once you have found the best place to shop online, always use that, rather than switching websites.