Online shopping is becoming an increasing trend even when it comes to groceries. There are many advantages to it. There are numerous sales throughout the year and you don’t have to fight lines in a given store. You can order from the comfort of your home without wasting your time through traffic or waiting for the bus.
Buying online is also very well protected in case you want to return your money. The law gives you a time window to return anything for a full refund no matter the reason. When you buy from a store directly, you don’t receive such protection. There’s no reason for the cashier or store owner to refund you unless they choose to do so.
However, with great benefits and advantages, there are also disadvantages and risks. Here are a few tips on how you can protect yourself when shopping in online stores.
1. Visit Legit Websites
Always go straight to a company’s website and order directly from them. Sometimes you will receive emails or social media notifications about some great offer from a store you are familiar with. These notifications will contain a web link. Don’t click it, it’s risky. You can research and find out more about the web address you receive, but it’s safer to just ignore it unless it’s the official page of a legit business. There are many scammers out there trying to acquire your payment information, so do your best to make it impossible for them to steal from you.
2. Website Security
Even if you visit the website of a legit online store, make sure it is safe and encrypted. The easiest way to determine whether a website is secure for an online transaction is by seeing a closed padlock on the left side of the web address, or by seeing the HTTPS protocol at the beginning of the webpage. If the address starts with HTTP, it means it is not secure. Another way to add an extra layer of security is by using Paypal as an intermediary payment system. By using Paypal, if you get scammed, you can contact their support and get your money back. They take payment security extremely serious and you should be quite safe by using their services.
3. Use a Credit Card
Credit cards are actually a great way to pay when you order online because of an extra layer of protection against scammers. The Consumer Credit Act says that the credit card company that issued your credit card is just as responsible for the purchase as you are. This means if something goes wrong and you are scammed, there’s a big chance the credit card company will refund you no matter what. Just shop responsibly and don’t clear out your monthly credit balance.