More and more people prefer to shop online than visit brick and mortar stores. This Cyber Monday, sales are expected to hit double-digit growth rate of 13.1% with $1.8 billion in sales. In fact, American Express expects Cyber Monday to be more popular than Black Friday with 55% shoppers shopping on Cyber Monday in 2013, compared to 39% shoppers shopping on Cyber Monday in 2012. So while you are shopping online, it’s absolutely necessary that you remain safe and secure in your transactions.
So how to protect yourself while shopping online? For that, follow these steps:
- Secure computer and gadgets: Make sure that your desktop, tab, iPad or the mobile you are using to do your shopping has the latest version of the operating system. If you are using a shopping app, make sure it’s properly updated.
- Limit online merchants: Do not shop from all and sundry. Limit your shopping activities to the merchants you know and trust. You can also directly type out the URL of the website in the address bar rather than getting redirected to it.
- Do not use debit card: Do not use debit card for your online shopping. Ever. Credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act, debit cards are not.
- Use secure connection: Always look for “https” in the URL while you are thinking to shop online. “Https” simply means that the connection is secure with encrypted data.
- Do not use public computers: If you are planning to shop online, do not ever use public computers or public wireless access. If you do that, it will leave you open and vulnerable to online fraudsters looking for victims.
- Be wary of charity donation scams: During holidays, many cyber criminals set up fake charities to take advantage of people’s generosity and kindness. Before donating anything to these “new” charities, make sure they actually do exist and are registered legally with the relevant authorities.
If you know about any other precautions that can help you protect against online frauds while shopping, please do tell us in the below comment box.