Everyone shops online, especially these days in the wake of the novel coronavirus. Although many have embraced online shopping over the past five years, we now depend on the World Wide Web for everything, from ordering groceries to paying rent. Unfortunately for users, the Internet is not all convenience and rainbows. In fact, there have been numerous reports of fraudulent transactions when shopping online, such as cases of excess credit card charges and identity theft.
Since we depend on the Internet to a certain extent, you’ll have to teach yourself how to stay safe when you decide to purchase goods and services online. The Link Apartments has put together a list of basic tips to help you shop online more safely. Check them out below:
Shop on Trusted Websites.
Whether you’re new to online shopping or quite experienced, you’ll want to stick to popular, reputable websites, like eBay or Amazon. Many of the reported cases of fraud and identity theft online occurred when users branched outside these norms and turned to make transactions on social media or more obscure shopping websites. If you’re unsure whether a site can be trusted or not, look to testimonials on the website and feedback from other customers discussing their shopping experiences. Can’t find anything of that nature? Then, it’s time to move on and find what you need elsewhere.
Make Sure the Website is SSL Encrypted.
You might not be aware of this, but the SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a tool that gives online window shoppers a sense of privacy when it comes to your personal information. If you’re unsure as to whether the website you’re using is secure in this way, simply look to the URL bar at the top of your search engine of choice. Typically, a URL starts with an HTTP://, but an encrypted URL begins with HTTPS://. The “s” marks the spot of difference between the two, and it’s important to pay attention to this detail while shopping online. Don’t forget to look out for a padlock at the bottom of the status bar, too!
Check Your Account Statement.
Last, but not least, after the purchase is made, check your bank account balance right after finalizing the online transaction. This simple, necessary step assures will you that only the money you paid for the purchase is taken from your account. For credit cards, it is advisable to contact your credit card company and ask for your latest transaction. If you’re paying with an online payment system, like PayPal, you should receive an invoice to your main email associated with the account. Whatever you do, don’t shortchange yourself on this step, or your bank account might suffer the consequences!
As the saying goes, knowledge is power – and, at The Link Apartments in Houston, Texas, we couldn’t agree more! We hope that this blog has presented you with the valuable information that you were seeking out.