Let's face it, there's every reason in the world to shop online.
The bargains are there. The selection is mind-boggling. The shopping is secure. Shipping is fast. Even returns are pretty easy, with the right e-tailers. Shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers.
But what about the bad guys who lay in wait? There are reports that use of phishing attacks (where thieves attempt to swindle you out of your sign-in credentials and even credit card info by pretending to be a real website, or even an online bank) is down, as much as eight percent since the second quarter and 11 percent since the third quarter of last year. That's great news—except the same report says sites with malware (malicious code aimed at compromising your privacy) has increased by 89 percent since the second quarter.
Stay calm. While somewhat alarming, these stats should not keep you from shopping online. You simply need some common sense and practical advice.
Follow these basic guidelines and you can shop online with confidence. Here are few tips for staying safe online, so you can start checking off items on that holiday shopping list. Enjoy shopping…
1. ENSURE THAT YOU KNOW THE IDENTITY, LOCATION AND CONTACT DETAILS OF THE ONLINE RETAILER
There are online companies whose brand name is recognizable, such as Amazon and Flipkart. Additionally, many real life stores like Lifestyle and Biba now include an online retailing arm as part of their retail services and you already know their reputations. It is important, however, to establish the identity of lesser-known online companies who do not have instant recognition or external store status. In this case, it is important to look for the name, company registration details for your country, contact details that include an e-mail, postal address and telephone number and a clear indication of where the company's headquarters is based.
2. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A COMPANY'S REPUTATION
After looking for these signs of identification, it is a good idea to ensure that the company has a good online reputation. Do not assume that just because a store in the real world sells things one way that their online service will be as good. There might be a risk of lacking service back up or returns policies etc. for online purchases that do not exist if you buy direct in the store.
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