Shopping online can be a great convenience for some people. If you’re sick or don’t have access to the stores you want to visit, or if you have some type of specific need that makes more sense to purchase through the Internet, online shopping can be a lifesaver. However, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful or if you choose to trust online websites or businesses that are less than reputable. So to help ensure that you don’t invest your hard-earned money into something that isn’t worth it, here are three tips for being more confident as an online shopper.
Check For The Padlock
Once you’ve found whatever item it is that you want to purchase online, it’s important that you double-check the safety of the site you’re about to give your financial information to. According to Eric Griffith, a contributor to PCMag.com, you should never put your bank or credit card information into a website that doesn’t have the little padlock icon right next to the URL in your browser window. This tiny lock image means that the website has taken steps to encrypt and secure any information sent over that page. This is extremely common now, as most online retailers know how important their customers’ safety is. So if you do happen to find a website that doesn’t have this, consider making your purchase somewhere else.
Look For Social Proof
While it’s generally safest to make online purchases from retailed, vendors, or websites that you’re already familiar with, there likely will come some times where you need to get something from a new source. This can be scary for many online shoppers, as you can never really know if someone is trying to convince you to buy a faulty product or giving you low-quality service or security. So to help you know whether or not you should do business with the website, Marc Saltzman, a contributor to USA Today, recommends looking through social proof like reviews or comments about the business or website. While these types of things can sometimes be misleading or faked, those are often weeded out until you’re left with only real reviews that you can generally trust.
Shop With A Credit Card
When it comes to making the actual purchase through an online website, Jerri Ledford, a contributor to The Balance, advises that you use a credit card rather than a debit card. With most credit cards, there are additional protections in place in the event that fraud has been detected. This can help you from being charged for things you didn’t buy and aid you in protecting your identity. Credit cards will give you an added layer of online security.
If you’re worried about spending a lot of money online shopping, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you be safe and feel more confident about your online purchasing choices.