Online shopping safety has become the primary concern of every netizen who is purchasing goods and services using the Internet primarily due to instances of counterfeit websites that are luring the netizen to enter their personal information which in turn be used to do dire things.
Though there are various ways that legit online shopping websites are doing to protect itself and its users from such occurrences. However, these websites cannot ensure 100% protection; thus becoming a threat in online shopping safety.
Most consumers to not know is that they are leaving traces of their surfing history in their browsers. Most of the traces include pertinent information about the user like the Auto complete form and its username and password. This is dangerous especially if a hacker gets hold of the information of the user by fiddling with the many application software and operating system security loopholes. Much worse, the information that was gathered from the user can be used in crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud. Because of this, online shopping safety has become the concern of consumers.
One of the basic shopping safety tip that is being recommended is by religiously erasing such traces in the setting of the web browser. Though somewhat effective, there were two concerns regarding this method. One, you cannot set your browsers to automatically delete these traces as most of the browsers do not have this option. Likewise, there is no centralized control in most browsers. Lastly, included in the traces that can be deleted are those that are essential for user’s browsing experience like cookies, cache, bookmarks, and the like.
So how can consumers protect themselves from this online shopping safety hazard? And how can they guard themselves from being a victim? Below are tips that can help consumers protect themselves.
Online shopping safety tips
The following are simple tips that can protect consumers from the get go by ensuring that the websites they are transacting with is safe.
A. Make sure to transact in a webpage with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) feature.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security feature from a verified website that enables users to enter their personal information without the fear of identity theft. What SSL does is that it encodes the information from your computer and decodes it on the server you are accessing. It protects your information from intruders that are ought to get those information. Truly a remarkable online shopping safety application.
So how do you know if the webpage is protected by SSL? Simple, just look at the address bar of the website or webpage and see if the address is starting with “https”, obviously “s” here stands for secured.
However, not all pages of the website you are visiting are protected by SSL because they need not to. Only those pages where private information will be entered will be protected by SSL. Hence, as an online shopping safety tip, check out first the webpage if it has SSL before you enter your personal information.
B. Look for digital certificates.
Apart from the SSL, another great safety tip is by ensuring that the website you want to transact in has a digital certificate. A digital certificate is a verification and endorsement from a certificate authority that states that the site can be trusted.
Aside from proving that the online store is legit and safe like what SSL does, it also protect your personal information by encoding and decoding your personal information; covering it before it travels across the internet. This way your information is submitted safely.
As an online shopping safety tip and to protect yourself, you must look for websites that has digital certificates before doing any transactions.
Though it may seek tedious at times, precaution is the key ingredient in online safety. Be wary, see if the website are secured and if it has a digital certificate. Likewise, as an additional tip, always try to delete your web traces, additional precaution would not hurt.
Be protected by following the above tips for online shopping safety.