Online shopping can be much easier than dealing with crowds and traffic, but there are some important security tips to keep in mind.
These simple steps can help ensure that you are shopping on a safe and trustworthy website:
- Look for third party seals of approval, such as the Better Business Bureau Online and TRUSTe. These should be clearly posted and link to the organization that created them. Be wary of reputable merchants that use the seals without permission.
- Keep your browser updated and consider a filter that warns you of suspicious websites.
- Find out what other shoppers have to say by reading evaluations on sites such as Epinions.com or BizRate. Customer evaluations can help you determine a company's legitimacy.
- Record the details of your purchase and delivery terms to make sure that you receive what you expected.
- Check for the lock icon or "https:" in the web address to ensure the site uses a secure connection to collect payment information.
- Don't let the site store your credit card information.
- Read the site's privacy, return and refund policies before you make a purchase.
- Pay by credit card. Most credit card companies offer extra protections including extended warranties and protection against loss or theft.
- Never disclose your social security number to online merchants.
- Finally, enjoy your holiday! These simple steps will make it much more likely that there will be problems with your online purchases!