Shopping online? Tread carefully

Is shopping online unsafe?
At a physical store you have the advantage of seeing the person collecting your cash or swiping your card, so that if something goes wrong, you can always go back and sort things out. But online shopping requires you to be more alert. This does not mean that online shopping is unsafe. Just take care of a few basic pointers and you can shop all you want without worrying.

Whenever you proceed to your bank’s page for payment, always make sure that you are on an SSL encryption installed link (https://). You will also notice a padlock icon, either on the status bar or at the bottom of your browser.

How do you know an e-commerce site is a safe one?
Always shop from well-known sites, which have been around the block for a good length of time. Avoid using Google search to find e-commerce sites as the results may be rigged and lead you to fraudulent sites. Also, beware of different top-level domains — .net or .org instead of .com.

Even if a site is new, make sure to visit the ‘About Us’ page to view the quality and size of the team responsible for the site. If the company has an existing customer support, even better! Transact only if the story on the page checks with elsewhere on the web. Remember, background checks can save you a lot of money.

It is okay to use public computers while shopping?
Avoid using public computers. This may not sound as threatening as a phishing attack but might lead to worse consequences. This is because of the possibility of a malware installed on the system which captures your login details as and when you type them.

Even though you may be confident about successfully avoiding online fraud, just to be on the safer side, check your bank statements regularly.  

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