Online shopping is the retail therapy of the 21st century. It’s convenient, personalized and flexible. You want a new pair of shoes, order online. You need to buy some grocery items, you can find an app for that. It’s quite a life we’re living right now. If you’re used to purchasing goods and services online at home, we are delighted to inform you that the country has caught up with the trend as well, and you may experience Philippine online shopping as easy as 1-2-3.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that since we are in the time where consumers are savvy, this period also calls for vigilance and precaution. Assume that while there is a massive demand for online shopping, there is also a great number of scammers and online opportunists lurking around digital websites. Thus, it’s important to stay cautious at all times. Follow these seven online shopping tips for a safe and therapeutic experience.
- Shop only over familiar websites
Familiarity is key for tip number one. Go to your most trusted retailers as much as possible. It doesn’t hurt to be cautious when it comes to the sites you visit, especially if you’re spending money on it. If by any chance you find yourself browsing a catalog of high end watches selling for half the price on a new website, it’s always a good idea to research about the shop first. Find reviews to see what people are saying about it. Ask some friends if they have tried it. If your research doesn’t bear any fruit, you might want to rethink your next steps.
Secure the URL
One step to knowing that you are in a secured site is by checking the URL. Note that it should be “https://” instead of “http://”. It must also contain the padlock symbol. This way, you can have a peace of mind that you’re in good hands when you input your credit card details and other personal information.
- Create a strong password
123456 and QWERTY are not unique passwords. Your birthday isn’t either, so please, never use it for any shopping websites, or any site at all. Try to create different and strong passwords for each app or platform you join and modify them from time to time. Doing so can prevent cyber criminals to hack into each of your account should a breach happens.
- Bill it to your credit card
Credit cards offer more protection that debit cards, thus, it’s advisable to use it when you purchase online. If you use a debit card and a hacker finds himself to your account, your entire bank information may be compromised and bank companies may have a difficult time investigating the theft. With credit card, the bank can give assistance in terms of refund when proven there’s been a case of fraud.
For added security, some credit card companies in the Philippines require a One-Time Password (OTP) sent to your mobile phones for verification when you’re about to pay for your items. Debit cards don’t offer this feature.
- Protect your information
Never share your information to others, even to your children. Taking a photo of the credit card, including the Card Verification Code (CVC), and sending it to your family members through personal messages or social media may pose danger especially when your mobile phones get stolen. It’s better if you’re the one who will input these details when you purchase online.
In addition, if online shopping sites ask for too much information like social security number and passport number- which is not relevant to the shoes you’re buying- you better think twice.
- Shop at home
This online shopping tip is for you to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks. Public Wi-Fi may be easily intercepted by cyber criminals making it easy for them to access what you’re looking at. If you’re in a coffee shop and you’re trying to purchase items off the web, criminals may be able to get your credit card information. You wouldn’t want that, would you? We know you’re excited, but wait ‘til you get home to empty your shopping cart.
- Mind your credit card statements
Don’t just take your credit card statements from the mailbox and leave it lying on the kitchen counter unopened. Be vigilant and cross check all your transactions. If there’s a suspicious-looking purchase, call your bank immediately. The sooner you address a problem, the sooner it can be resolved.
Online shopping has made life easy for everyone. It has also made criminals creative and resourceful when it comes to taking advantage of this retail demand. Don’t let them get in your shopping escapade. Be more mindful of your personal information and credit card details and have a fuss-free shopping spree online.