The digital shopping age is become more and more sophisticated as the technology evolves and the way we do shopping changes. Would You believe in the fact that we are slowly changing the way we create transactions or receive products to our doorsteps? Long before we know it, we won’t even have to go to the grocery store that the products will arrive to our doorsteps in less than half an hour.
eCommerce stores have started popping up left and right, offering more amazing deals than the site that opened five minutes earlier. Is it even possible to offer things at a price that’s almost cut in half from the competitors? Sometimes a site like this is nothing more but a way of stealing money from you.
I think we both can agree that it’s better to stay on the safe side of things. Shopping online is a different experience to shopping in a real store. The online shopping experience doesn’t require you to carry a million heavy things, instead you can just click your mouse a couple of times and boom, the product will arrive in less than 48 hours.
That is why it is so important to know some basic tips for how to shop online securely and safely.
I am going to give a very strange, but also very good example of how businesses, especially fake ones operate.
Lets take marijuana seeds for example. There are a couple of known retailers online who have earned their trust through hard and dedicated work ethics. Because there are only so many websites selling these seeds, hackers love to create fake sites that promise better prices, safer and quicker delivery options. What you need to understand that there aren’t better prices, or safer delivery options, if there were – the original retailers would already use them.
Don’t fall for the fake business trap, always make sure you know who you are buying from. As detailed as the business owners first and last name. This applies to all shopping done on websites outside of the big shots like Amazon, Bestbuy, etc,. etc,. You will get robbed, if you are not careful.
Make sure you have educated yourself about any price changes or additional feels that an online shop you are using might require you. People love to put some hidden and magical feels on products that are barely noticeable, but actually bring a lot of profit.
Check for VAT, delivery fees, any additional costs? Anything that rises suspicion, make sure you are 100% sure you will pay the amount you are shown on the page.
Now we know the business is real and that the prices are what they are being shown as. The next step is to check for products and their warranty/return options. In EU, the law states that customers have got 15 days to return the product to the retailer in case it is not working or it has got other issues with it. Definitely make sure you have checked that the eCommerce site does in fact comply with this law.
The psychology behind all this is that although you might think the business is real, and the prices are reasonable – you could end up ordering something that will either be fake from the beginning or is going to brake by the third time you use it.
This is where you can get either win it or lose it. Do not shop on websites that are going to store your credit card information, and only accept one-step authentication. The digital age has grown enough for us to start using verified payment services that offer legitimate two-step authentication so it can always be proven it is only you who is using the credit card for making payments.
Security of the Business
Check the business/website you are shopping on for security measures, this includes an SSL certificate for secure online shopping, and also any badges or recommendations from trusted services. Verisign, GeoTrust and PayPal verification badges are the most common ones, so look for them. There is no reason a business shouldn’t acquire them to boost reputation.
Security of your Computer
Another important factor, if you haven’t got a clue how computer security works, make sure to educate yourself and install the appropriate tools to protect your information at all times. We live in an age where stealing your data can be done without you ever knowing it. It would happen so smooth you would actually never rise any suspicion about it. Professional security programs can help you deal with such things.
Simple Google Search
The last of our tips for shopping online safely is a simple Google search you need to do about any business online. The query would look something like this:
- “business name” + reviews
- “business name” + scam
- “business name”
This will give a tiny glimpse in the world of that business. Often you can find some really good information that might help you make the better choice.
I don’t believe that these tips are even half of what we should take into consideration when shopping online, but they are definitely the ones I would be looking to implement and look after when doing online shopping on sites that I haven’t heard of before.
In no way is online shopping bad, and in no way are all the businesses bad, but we have to be careful if we want to protect our privacy and most importantly our bank accounts. Stay safe.