Thanks to the growth of E-commerce, there are more online shopping options than ever. With the click of a mouse, you can purchase almost anything you’d ever need, and often times, for much less than you’d pay in a traditional retail store. For many people, the act of window shopping has been replaced by internet browsing, with the appeal being you can shop without leaving the comfort of your home. But unfortunately, with this increase in convenience comes more opportunities for crooks to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. If you hitting the web to find those daily deals, here are a few tips to safeguard yourself from clever scam artists:
1) Shop at secure web sites. Secure websites that offer daily deals use encryption technology to transfer information from your computer to an the store’s server. Encryption is desirable when shopping because it scrambles the information you send, i.e. your credit card number, in order to prevent hackers from obtaining it while en route to the store’s computer. You can verify a store’s encryption technology by looking at the web address. If it read https:// in the order page, it’s secure.
2) Research the daily deals site before you order. Often times, just y doing a quick Google search, you can find feedback from previous customers and if anything negative pops up, read about it. If there’s no information on the company, it can be a good idea to make a small purchase first to see if it is a trustworthy source.
4) Be aware of cookies. Many websites, including on line merchants watch your shopping and browsing habits by using “cookies”. It is an online tracking system that attaches pieces of code to your internet browser to track which site you visit. “Persistent” cookies remain stored on your computer and “per-session” cookies expire when you close your browser.
5) Use a credit card when making a purchase. Although many sites have the option to use a variety of payment methods like debit cards or checks. The safest way to shop online is with a credit card. If something goes wrong and your personal data is obtained by an unwanted source, you’re protected under the federal Fair Credit Billing Act. This means that you have the right to dispute any suspicious charges on your statement, and you can withhold payments during a creditor investigation. When it is ruled that your credit has been used without your authorization, you’re only required to pay the first $50 in fraudulent charges.