Survivor’s Guide to Online Shopping
Let’s face it; online shopping is pretty much the bomb. I mean who doesn’t love shopping from the convenience of their living room couch? Not to mention it is so much easier than toting all the kids to the store and browsing the aisles while they get themselves lost in the clothing racks. As easy as online shopping is, there are a few tips to keeping it safe.
Use familiar websites:
As easy as it is to shop online, it’s just as easy to be scammed. Shop on sites that you are familiar with and have a well-known (positive) reputation. If you stick with the big dogs, you are less likely to be ripped-off or have your information recorded by an un trusted site.
Make sure the site is secure:
Before you enter any personal information make sure the site you are on is secure. This can be identified in the URL. If the URL for the site you are on starts with https:// then you are golden!
After making online purchases, double check your bank or credit card statements to make sure you were charged the correct amount. Also check and make sure no fraudulent purchases have been made. If you do see something incorrect call the proper company to address the matter quickly.
Use retailer’s apps:
Most big name retailers have a mobile app. This makes online shopping, especially on your mobile device, even easier. Download the free app and shop away! Speaking of apps… Jane.com has an especially great one… if you catch my drift! ;)
Protect your personal information:
There is no reason any online shopping store needs your social security number. The basic information that is needed for an online purchase is name, mailing address, billing address and credit card information. Birthdate, phone number and email address are sometimes required.
Check for deals:
Almost every online retailer has some sort of deal available. Signing up for their daily emails, taking an online survey, referring a friend, first time buyers or just regular, everyday sales. Check online sites such as Retail Me Not to see if there are any deals out there that you are unaware of.
Plan your purchase:
There are multiple reasons why you should plan your purchase. Number one, if you are in need of a particular item for a particular event make sure to factor shipping time before making your purchase. Unless you plan on overnighting a package (if that’s even an option) make sure to leave ample time for shipping. The other reason you should plan your purchases is for the sales! Retailers usually offer sales in conjunction with holidays. Many retailers also hold Semi-Annual sales. Keep on the look out; this is where you will find big savings.
Use strong passwords:
When it comes to passwords think strong and long. 123456 or simply password does not cut it. You are setting up an account with all your personal information; protect that stuff with a good great password.
One of the best things about online shopping is the ability to compare prices without having to physically go to each store. Check to see if other retailers carry the same, or similar items and check prices on each site. This will help you by saving a buck or two.
Only shop on personal computers:
I am pretty sure this is obvious by now, but you never know. If you do, for some reason, need to use a public computer for a purchase, make sure to log out of your account before shutting down the web browser. You never know who will be using the computer after you. And never ever ever, choose the Save Password On This Device option on a public computer.
Well, there you have it. Now you will be a savvy and safe online shopper! Happy shopping my friend ☺