In 2011, Americans spent a whopping $256 billion U.S. dollars making purchases online. That same year, American online shoppers spent $1.25 billion U.S. dollars on Cyber Monday alone! So what is everybody buying? In no particular order, the top five most frequently purchased items were clothes, furniture, computers, jewelry, and electronic music and gadgets. Not shabby numbers, and some of those purchases can be pricey items. The most popular online vendor? You guessed it; Amazon.com. (In fact, Amazons 2012 net revenue surpassed the $61 billion mark.)
You can basically buy anything online. But first, you may ask, is online shopping safe? What about my credit card numbers? Is it secure to shop online with credit cards? Yes, if the vendor you are purchasing from does the right thing by taking the correct steps and security measures. Secure internet shopping should be a guarantee from an online vendor. According to an ecrime report, the number of phishing attacks are down. Conversely, the number of web sites with malware have significantly increased. No need to panic, though. There are a few steps you can take so that you can calmly enjoy a safe shop online purchase. Here are a few safe shopping online tips.
Any reputable online vendor will take any and all precautions to ensure safe and secure internet shopping transactions. You have probably seen that padlock icon followed by the word secure in your web browser URL address field? That means you are embarking on a secure internet shopping experience. Another good indication that you are doing safe online shopping is to look back again at your browsers URL field; if it reads HTTPS instead of HTTP, the online vendor uses secure sockets layer (SSL), which aids secure internet shopping. Word to the wise; to ensure secure internet shopping, do not ever purchase anything from an online vendor that does not use SSL.
Stick to popular, more prominently well known vendors and stray away from lesser known, obscure vendors. These sites should be easy to find because most major retail outfits have their own online counterpart. Watch out for .net instead of .com domains, though. Those can be tricky websites in disguise!
Last but not least, spend a little money on some good computer virus, spyware, and malware protection software. Ensuring secure internet shopping is money well spent. A lot of what it takes to ensure a secure internet shopping spree is up to you.