Christmas is almost upon us again and many of you will be buying your presents online this year.
And who can blame you?
I know I have neither the time nor the inclination to scurry around the local shopping centre at this time of year when fellow consumers often seem to turn into animals when trying to find the perfect gift at a bargain price.
Besides, buying from internet sites is often cheaper anyway.
How do you ensure that your online shopping experience is safe though?
The 10 Commandments Of Safe Online Shopping
1. Ignore enticing emails – Never click on links in emails that offer amazing deals unless you are sure they come from a reputable company. Many spam emails lead to online scams that will cost you money, not save you any.
2. Research, research, research – You should never buy on a whim as you may not know what you are getting or whether it is the best deal available. There are many price comparison and review sites on the net that will allow you to make an informed decision about any purchases you are thinking of making.
3. Check the site you are on – Hackers can redirect you to websites that are fake but look real – check that the web address in your browser is the one you expect to see.
4. Read the small print before ordering – Before buying ensure that you are familiar with the company’s terms, conditions, returns policy, etc as these can vary quite a bit between each firm.
5. Shop securely – When ordering online look for ‘https’ in the web address or a padlock symbol somewhere in your browser as this will mean that the website has a secure connection.
6. Use a strong password – When shopping online you should always use a password that will not be easy to guess or break. A long password that mixes letters, numbers and symbols is the best choice.
7. Keep records – Whenever you order something online take a printout whenever possible so that you have some proof of what you ordered, how much you paid and when.
8. Always use a credit card – Using a credit card for online purchases is likely to afford you a greater level of protection. You’ll have to check with your card company but many will cover the costs of some types of fraud as long as you have acted responsibly.
9. Ensure your antivirus program is up to date – The best way to ensure that your computer is secure before buying online is to have a good internet security suite or antivirus program installed.
10. Secure your wireless connection – If you use a wireless router in order to connect to the net then you need to ensure that it is secured and has a strong password protecting it.
Have you got any other tips for ensuring that your internet shopping experience is a safe one this Christmas?