Is online shopping safe? If the shopping dollars spent by Americans in 2011 is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, Americans spent $256 billion making online purchases in 2011; $1.25 billion was spent on Cyber Monday alone! Before asking yourself, is online shopping safe, however, you can take a few proactive safe shopping online tips to ensure a secure internet shopping experience.
According to an ecrime report, the biggest threat to a safe shop online experience is malware. In fact, the number of websites with malware (software designed to damage your computer and steal information) have significantly increased. That is why when you send both personal and financial data, be sure the site you are dealing with protects its customers with proper security measures. How can you ensure if a website is online shopping safe? A legitimate online vendor will secure its transactions with something called hypertext transfer protocol secure procedures. It is pretty easy to tell if a site uses this, too. Just take a look at the URL address bar; if there is an HTTPS instead of an HTTP, you are secure. Another online safety guide line is secure sockets layer, also known as SSL. If a website employs this, you will see a padlock icon either in the address bar or in the corner of the web browser.
One of the most popular online shopping sites is Amazon.com. In 2012, its net revenue surpassed $61 billion! Amazon takes several precautions to ensure its transactions is online shopping safe. For example, Amazon has a thorough account verification process and password security protocol. If in doubt and questioning whether your transaction is online shopping safe, always check out the vendors security guidelines. If they do not have this information, do not shop there.
In addition to only shopping at legitimate sites, you can take your own proactive measures to ensure whether your transaction is online shopping safe. Use only credit instead of debit. This is because many credit cards offer protection, but if you use your debit card and its safety is compromised, your entire checking account can be cleaned out before you are aware of the fraud. It is also in your best interest (and imperative to a safe online shopping experience) to invest a little money on effective, reputable computer virus, spyware, and malware protection software. Regardless of the online deal you snag, this extra expenditure may be the most worthwhile money you have spent to ensure whether your purchase is online shopping safe.