The Wonder of Tech is honored to welcome guest author Praveen Rajarao!
E-Commerce is the art of buying and selling goods and services online. Today you can purchase anything and everything online including cars, homes, insurance, computers, groceries etc. With the increase in the number of sales online (especially in US), agencies have been established to monitor and conduct surveys about online fraud.
The holiday season is fast approaching and nearly everyone is looking for quick deals online to save some money with their purchases. Have you ever been scared to purchase online? Would you consider buying more if you were 100% sure that the process is secure? According to a survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec last year, 63% of those surveyed said that they did not complete an online purchase due to security concerns. StaySafeOnline.org
There are numerous websites that promise a safe and clean buying process, without hassle, and that personal information entered will be kept safe. These websites have logos for “VeriSign Trusted” or “Entrust” similar to the ones below:
These logos intended to show that websites are legitimate, legal and valid e-businesses.
Here are some additional tips that you can use to help ensure security and safety for your online shopping:
1. Have you checked your Internet Browser? – With the various browsers available such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox and Apple Safari, there is a common feature available in all of them – Security Standards (Secure Sockets Layer or SSL). These standards are responsible for the encryption of all the personal and financial data that you send over the Internet during your purchase. Websites that have a web address starting with “https” or sites that display one of the logos above have taken extra measures to ensure your safety. In addition to these measures, Internet browsers display a warning or a pop-up message saying information is being sent to a specific vendor or website whose security certificate has expired.
2. Always shop with known websites or companies – Personally, my first website of preference for online purchases is Amazon. You always need to go with renowned and well established companies for any online transactions. If you have even the slightest doubt, I would recommend you ask them for their policies, shipping charges, returns, and re-stocking fees. You can always confirm a telephone number and contact address to be on the safer side.
3. Try to reveal as little personal information as possible – Sometimes we tend to give away our credit card numbers, passwords and social security numbers over the phone to anyone who tells us that they are banking agents or online supervisors for the merchant. One should take extreme precaution before providing any such key information over phone or web to unknown recipients.
4. Password Protection - Do not use the same password in every website that requires you to register. If you have a password that you use for your personal mailbox, keep it separate from the one that you use to register for Amazon or any other online merchant.
4. Use a Secured Credit Card – Some of the major credit card companies now offer security on all the purchases that you make using your credit card, most of these online transactions are also governed and protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). Also if you lose your card and there is a misuse of it by any other party, you are liable only for the first $50, making it safe from excess liability under the FCBA.
5. Manage your cookies while surfing - Cookies allow you to store information while using websites, they save your username and password when you visit a website. In addition to that, it can also help the website owner to track who is visiting the website, the date and time of the visit and more. It may harm your privacy if any online hacker is tracking you. Therefore, you can delete cookies in your computer to protect your privacy. (Learn how to delete your cookies Here.)
These are some tips for shoppers to keep you protected from online scams and fake deals going on worldwide. Be careful when you shop online and trust your instincts. Make sure that when you shop online that you are safe, not scammed.
What steps do you take when you shop online? Do you feel secure shopping online? Let us know in the Comments section below!
About Praveen Rajarao – Praveen Rajarao blogs on his website – http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com. His topics range from life to blogging to technology and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same. Follow Praveen on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brpraveen.
Image by Mik Scheper