Nowadays, nearly as many people have a credit card as own a mobile phone, and whether we are purchasing online or from a physical store we will probably be paying with a card of some sort. Whilst cards are often a safer alternative than carrying cash, using your card to shop online carries its own risks.
If our card or wallet gets stolen we notice immediately and can notify our banks to cancel them and stop the further fraudulent activity. However on the internet, our information can get into the wrong hands without us even knowing it. As recent cases have shown, this can also happen with reputable websites who have highly secure systems, thus it’s important that everyone checks their credit card statement regularly.
This way you can spot if your credit card information has been compromised and can minimize the damage and work needed to resolve the issue. After that, you will need to go to your credit card provider, cancel your card and start creating a chargeback for every fraudulent transaction.
Responsible Online Shopping
There are many benefits to shopping online, such as the ability to find the products you want for less. These are opportunities that we want to take advantage of, but we want to do so with an awareness of the risks, for example, you may never receive the goods you purchased.
Payment services such as PayPal or Serve support you to make chargebacks for items that were not delivered. This can be a lengthy process that can be speeded up if you can prove you didn’t receive the paid for the product; it is, therefore, it is wise when purchasing expensive products online to ensure that you choose registered postage.
It is also important that you understand how your own credit card providers support you to make chargebacks, as this can vary depending on your provider.
One off pre-paid cards are becoming a popular payment method for small purchases where you do not want to disclose too much personal data, or connect the payment to your bank account.
The only issue is that in order to be able to pay using these card the website has to accept them as a payment method. However, this industry is aware that their customers prefer to use prepaid cards on their website so if you look around you should be able to find the game or app you want and with the option to use a pre-paid-card such as Paysafecard.
Controlling Your Impulse
Shopping online has some inherent risk. When you buy with a credit card and have a plethora of shopping sites to choose from, you may find more than one items eye-catching. When you try to buy a shoe, you may browse through clothing section and from their to home improvement section.
With a click of a mouse, you can very much shop the entire world if you want. So, controlling your shopping impulse becomes one of the intense fights within our mind.
A responsible online shopper must know how to control shopping impulse. Else you shouldn’t shop online.
Research Whom You are Buying From
Buy only ethically sourced products. Don’t buy things that involved child labor. I generally don’t buy produce from countries infected with a natural disaster or infectious diseases.
If you’re buying toys for your child, make sure you read product description and reviews to ensure it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. When you are buying stuff for your own and you have children at home, ensure the product has child safety feature, if applicable.
Read The Reviews
When shopping at stores, we don’t take other buyers’ opinion. Online shopping had a great advantage over that.We can read reviews about most of the products so buy. Don’t let this chance slip. If you want to buy a ‘Dell Inspiron 15 5000‘ online, do a Google search with a phrase like ‘Dell Inspiron 15 5000 reviews”.
You’ll get many sites offering such reviews. Make it a point to read the five stars and the one stars. See why people gave very bad and very good ratings.
Don’t Neglect Shipping and Handling Charges
Not many sites provide the full cost of buying upfront. Be careful about them. Your card will not be charged till you review entire order, including all the charges. So before clicking the last buy button, take a look at overall cost. For large items, like furniture, etc. shipping cost can be huge. In that case buying from a local store could be the better option.
I tend to avoid sites that charge other hidden fees, like processing fee, online transaction fee, credit card transaction fee, etc.
Protect Your Identity
Think twice before typing your credit card number. Make sure the site is legit and not a phishing attempt. Read customer reviews of the site. See how others rated the company/website.
You should never give your social security number while buying goods/services except for when you’re buying loans (borrowing money). Auto insurance companies may ask for your social, but you should never give yours.
Make sure your browser auto fill feature is turned off for e-Commerce sites. I never allow my browser to remember my passwords, card numbers and other details for the sites I shop from.
Readers, how comfortable are you while shopping online? How you protect your privacy and identity while doing the online transaction?