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How to shop online safely

how to shop online safely
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There’s no escaping it – the technological age is here. Most homes now have a computer and every second person on the street has a smart phone in their hand. So instead of fearing it, we should embrace this era of modern technology; because despite whatever evils it may bring, it certainly makes life easier for busy working parents. No time to do the weekly shop? Jump online. Don’t fancy the hustle and bustle of the shops in the run up to Christmas? Jump online. Haven’t got time to pay the bills at the bank? Jump online.

Shop online safely

The internet is now the go-to place for many of our shopping needs. But if you are becoming a virtual shopaholic, it’s important to make sure your transactions are safe. You wouldn’t walk down the street with your money hanging out your bag, so don’t expose yourself to thieves online – make sure you shop online safely

Here are few online shopping security tips to protect your money and your personal information.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card

Why you ask? Because Credit cards have better protection from the card companies just in case something goes wrong. They can stop or cancel transactions within a certain time period and can issue refunds if you have been the victim of a fraud.

how to shop online safely

Use one card for all your online shopping

That way you can keep track of all your transactions easily. It also means any potential criminals won’t have access to your bank accounts and cash if they get hold of your card details.

Use the same computer

When you frequently shop online it is advisable to use the same, preferably password locked, computer.

Open a new browser

Make sure you use a newly opened browser for online shopping or payments. Close all windows and open afresh before making your purchase and don’t have multiple tabs open for shopping and surfing. You could use one browser for shopping, such as Google Chrome and then open another, such as Internet Explorer, if you want to surf at the same time.

Close the browser window after completing your purchase

Even if you want to continue surfing afterwards, close the window and reopen it afresh. This is because the browser stores information on your computers in “cookies”. Reliable sites delete important security information but unimportant personal details may be retained.

Check the name

Make sure you check the site name and URL in the browser address bar, particularly when proceeding to payment. It should either start with the same name as the site you are buying from, or may have switched to a third party payment gateway such as PayPal. In any case it is important to make sure you recognise the name. If not you can check the third party site before giving your payment details.

Be up to date

Use the latest and most up to date browsers for shopping as they will have less security loopholes.

Check small print

Make sure you check the small print for returns and refund policies, as well as shipping costs, warranties etc.

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