We all shop online. In fact, 10% of all purchases in the US is happening online. According to recent surveys, 25% of all adults in the country is shopping online every month. Can you imagine what it means? If any random 4 people gather up, then one of them is for sure an online shopper. Now, imagine that scale nationwide. We know, that’s huge! And you know what, this number is increasing so fast that, we can all be regular visitors of online stores quite soon!
This raises an important question. Is online shopping safe? What we can do to make sure that we don’t get screwed up with random stores, and don’t waste our money? In this blog post, we put together 10 important things to consider while shopping online.
1 – Make sure that the online store you are using is legit
Although having unencrypted websites is such a rare case nowadays, there are still websites and online stores that don’t encrypt your data. Therefore, you should always make sure that the website you are using has all the privacy and security measures that will protect you in the wild world of Internet. Wonder why it’s important? Each of your interactions online consists of continuous exchange of data. This exchange is happening between yourself (your computer) and the website you are using. When the data communication is protected, then no one can access or see that data exchange. But when it is not encrypted, then other people (such as hackers) or various services with bad intent can have access to everything you are doing on that particular website. It is very dangerous. They can use your identity, your credit cards and etc. Therefore, before moving forward with shopping online in any website, make sure that it is secure. Easiest way of doing it is checking the lock icon right before the website link on your browser. If you have that, it means website owners made sure that everything you are doing on the website is encrypted and no other third-party can grab your details without your permission.
2 – Don’t share your sensitive personal data while shopping online
Online shopping websites will need to collect basic information about you. For example, you name and surname, address, phone number and etc. This is for serving you and shipping you the orders you recently made. Although from the outside world, it might look like you are also giving your credit card details, most of the online shopping websites don’t collect it themselves. They are using payment processing services and don’t really see the details of you credit card. For example, we are using PayPal at KANGOEX. PayPal, as one of the safest online payment processor, takes you payment on our behalf, and as a result, we don’t see your card details.
Long store short, websites you are shopping on need only such little portion of your personal data to serve you. You should consider it and never share any super sensitive personal data, such as your social security number, ID and etc. No one ever need such detailed information about you to ship you your orders. If you come across with any website asking for that, you should first leave that website immediately. Secondly, if you have any free time and want to contribute to the community of other online shoppers, then you can publicly expose those websites, so no one would get into their traps.
3 – Go for an online shopping only with your own computer
It is very important to shop with your own computer. You might use some other devices as well, but in case if forgetting to sign out of your account, they might have an access to your shopping profile, and use your details to shop for themselves. This is also a case when using public computers, such as the ones at internet cafes, or public libraries and etc. It is always better to play safe and shop on your own computer than risk your money and account.
4 – Choose a strong password
You’ve heard it before. And you know that, you cannot underestimate the power of this point. Always create and use strong passwords. There are countless number of tools and people that are fishing for online shopping accounts with weak password to take advantage of. To prevent any problem in future, you can always set up a great password for your online shopping experience. Quite an easy thing to do, but also one of the most important parts of your online life!
5 – Try to avoid public Wi-Fi
Try not to shop online while you are connected to public Wi-Fi. Some of the Wi-Fi networks might transmit your data without encrypting it, or worse, can see your interaction with online shops. There is a certain level of risk to that. After all, if public internet network is not encrypting your data, then anyone, including other people who are connected to the same Wi-Fi network can see and use your data.
6 – Check reviews of products
Always check reviews of the products you are buying from that website. You can learn a lot from previous buyers, and their experiences can help you to make a good decision. Should you buy that product? Or maybe you should choose a different product? Always read reviews first and then decide. It will save you a lot of time, nerves and money during the process.
7 – Use PayPal or your official credit card
If online shop accepts PayPal, and if you have a PayPal account too, then try to use that as a payment method. Why? Well, PayPal has a buyer protection services which can be helpful in case of a bad shopping experience. Lets say you bought something online, and your order didn’t arrive in 30-40 days. And the seller (in our case, online shop representative) doesn’t answer to your emails and messages. Such a nightmare right? But if you used PayPal for payment, then you can send a complaint directly to PayPal and describe the situation. In turn, PayPal would send an official notice warning online shop management with an official law enforcement if they don’t resolve your issue. The best part of it, is that, no one wants to go to a court for an online shopping issue, right? You’ll get your problem solved easily, and the online shop management will be penalized either by PayPal or law enforcement.
The same can be also possible with your official credit card. If you had any serious issue while shopping online, you can always notify your bank about that, and they’ll investigate it on your behalf and help you with solution.
8 – Don’t share your online shopping account with others
Most of the times, your online shopping account will have lots of important information about you. Most importantly, your credit card details. Therefore, avoid sharing your account details with anyone. Always keep your account for yourself. Your online shopping account should be one of the most private assets of your online experience. At the end of the day, you are shopping online for yourself, why would anyone else need to use your account, right?
9 – Communicate with online store if you don’t get your order
If your order doesn’t hit your door within the indicated period by seller, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the online store. Although general online shopping looks quite simple, there are lots of complex mechanism happening in the background. Once you finish your online shopping, lots of parties are getting involved in delivering your package. First comes the shop you used online, then multiple points of delivery and logistics networks and then your local post office that delivers your packages. Therefore, best way of clarifying the situation is getting in touch with the store and asking why the delay happened. Each store tracks the orders and they’ll have information about your package. Worst case scenario, you’ll be refunded if there was a mistake in the process.
10 – Share your thoughts and experience with others
We know that it might be a bit tricky here, but always try to share your thoughts and experience shopping online with your friends. If the experience was great, then your friends deserve to know and get that experience as well. If not, it is also good for them to know to avoid particular websites. They’ll in turn share more about the websites they used to shop online, and in turn, you’ll learn a lot of insights on which store to choose next time!
Thanks a lot for reading this article. We hope that mentioned 10 important points will help you to make your online shopping experience safe and sound. We as a team of online shoppers always make sure to provide our buyers with the best opportunities to shop online. Check out our store – www.kangoex.com and get benefits of the best value for money online shopping!
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