Online shopping seems to be the way a vast amount of shopping will be done in the future: at the moment, there is very little available to consumers that can’t be bought on an online platform. From collectables to microwave ovens to rooms at hotels in Cape Town, it’s all on the web. eCommerce shopping, however, can be a major undertaking with dire consequences if you don’t take any precaution with regards to the website you plan to buy from.
When the first circumstances of online shopping were introduced, there were many loopholes and dangerous angles that exposed a person to cyber crimes. It actually triggered a massive number of cyber crime activities that caused many to grieve over, or fear the idea, of buying anything over the internet.
Fortunately, many holes have been “plugged” and there are alternative payment systems that do not have direct access to your personal or business financial accounts. Over the past few years, with safety guards in place, internet shopping has boomed. However, there is still a good chance of being a victim when shopping online, especially if the shopping is done without a care in the world about protecting your personal financial information.
Here are a few common sense tips on how to go about shopping over the internet:
Secure and Update Your Online Profile Regularly
Every time you go online you are exposed to risk of being spammed, hacked, or victimized by thieves. Your best protection is a complete security system that will advise you about malware or suspicious websites.
Set a Limit
If you think it’s easy to go over your budget while shopping in a mall, think again. It’s much easier to spend while shopping online because it’s your fingers doing all the work. In a mall, one would have to walk through rows of inventory and several stores to find something to buy whereas online shopping can be over and done with in minutes, and at any time of day or night. It’s important then to have a budget and self discipline. Keep in mind that you are not using cash which means you could be buying on credit.
One way to control your spending would be to allocate one credit card account for buying online. You determine the cap on that account and it will help you control your spending.
Choose the Websites Very Carefully
Just as you would not shop in certain areas in your city, you should practice this same precaution on the internet. Don’t go to websites you cannot verify. Use your security software to help you detect spurious sites. At any rate, with more a million active websites, you will find what you’re looking for on more than one website.
If You’re Unsure, Hold Off
If you are not sure about buying from a verified website, what are one or two more days? Sleep on it and try browsing through more options. The clear advantage of buying online is the fact that there are no sales clerks to hover and keep pitching their lines to frustrate you into giving in and buying from them.
Look For Alternate Brands or Services
One of the greatest advantages of buying online is finding new sellers and products as well as scouting for the best deals quickly. Many new business ventures are on the internet and so you can get to people you would never dream of meeting through traditional shopping methods. Naturally, you still have to observe the same stringent security measures of investigating a website and verifying its status as an online seller.
Not Everything Being Offered With a Discount Is Worth Buying
Don’t be swayed by discounts and guarantees. There are legitimate offers and there are those that are just used them as scam gimmicks. Double check the pricing with other competitive sources. It’s better to cover all possible problems because asking for a refund is going to take more time than you can imagine.
Buying online is so much fun because of its convenience and swiftness but it can quickly turn disastrous if you fail to follow standard security practices.