E-commerce has brought so much convenience to everyone’s lives.
Today, you can shop from different stores all over the world without leaving the comfort of your own home.
All you have to do is visit the shop’s website, select your preferred items, and wait for the delivery to arrive on your doorstep. As long as you have a stable Internet connection and a suitable device, shopping can become a breeze.
Although e-commerce provides a long list of advantages for online shoppers like you, there are also several setbacks involved – and one of these is the safety and security of paying for your online purchases.
Buying online means paying for your purchases virtually.
This may save you time and energy from personally visiting a brick-and-mortar store, but this setup can also make you susceptible to Internet fraud and scams.
You’re basically entrusting your money to a person or business that you have never seen or met before.
Here are some ways for you to pay safely online:
Stick with brands with a good track record
One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to online shopping is to only do business with reputable brands.
Choosing to work with brands that have a good track record doesn’t only provide value for your money, but you’ll also be at ease knowing that you’re dealing with a business that has robust security features.
Here are some tips to help you determine whether your an e-commerce website is credible:
1. Browse through the e-commerce website and look for detailed information about the seller or the business. If the seller or business is reputable, he or she will not shun away from displaying any information on the website. On the contrary, he or she provides contact details for you to use.
2. Assess if the website accepts payments from big payment companies such as MasterCard or American Express. When an e-commerce website has these options, it means that it had undergone a background check from the financial institutions. And if these payment companies trust the website, so can you!
3. Check comments from online forums and communities as well. Because these platforms allow users to have unfiltered comments, you’ll have a clear picture of how an e-commerce website works.
Use of credit cards over debit cards whenever paying online.
Both debit and credit cards make it easy for you to shop online.
But if you want to protect your safety and finances in the process, opt to use credit cards. Unlike debit cards, credit cards aren't linked to any of your other accounts.
It also has a limit on the amount you have to pay in the event your credit card gets stolen or used by someone else.
Here’s how you can pay safely using your credit card:
- Make sure that you only do wire transfers on a secure website. Only entrust your money with an e-commerce website that shows a padlock symbol on its URL. This encrypted symbol means all the information you provide to the website is safe.
- It’s also an excellent idea to always monitor your account. Keep tabs on your account balance and set up alerts for deposited funds. The more often you check your account, the better.
- Only make online payments through your mobile phone network, not in a restaurant’s public Wi-Fi. Using the latter will make it very easy for hackers to get your credit card details and make transactions without your consent.
Be wary of online offers that seem too good
With the number of e-commerce websites today, it’s typical to stumble upon offers that seem too good. These offers usually come in low prices and products that have “excellent quality” – of course, being a consumer, you may be tempted to click on the Buy Now button on the screen immediately. Doing this will not always warrant a bargain, and here’s why:
More often than not, too-good-to-be-true pricing can be a sign of a scam. If a product is priced unbelievably low and still promises to be of good quality, how can the seller or business gain profit?
How can the business operate long term if it’s not gaining any income from its sales? Cheap products are an easy way for sellers and businesses to lure in customers and get their money.
Another way of being scammed is buying a cheap product and, later on, finding out that it doesn’t provide you with the benefits you expected. You’ll end up paying for a product that you’ll never enjoy or take advantage of.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
E-commerce may be convenient for many customers, but it has also allowed cyber-criminals to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
A lot of “businesses” put up a façade just to trick customers into shelling out their money. Save yourself from this kind of situation by being careful on the mode of payment you’re using for your online purchases.
This simple precaution can go a long way in making sure that your online shopping experience will be enjoyable.
What are safe ways to make online purchases?
- Stick to brands you know
- Use credit cards over debit cards
- Avoid offers that are too good