Back when me and my sister were young, beanie babies were still popular and my sister wanted one that looked like a razorback pig really, really badly. My mom decided to try and buy one for her on ebay. After losing the auction, someone contacted her and said they had one of the pigs if she wanted one. She just had to send him the money.
Today, most people educated in safe online shopping would know not to send money. But it was the early days of the internet, so she did. The check was cashed but my sister never got her beanie baby, even after my mom sent multiple angry emails. It is easy now to practice safe online shopping. Here is an online safety guide to make sure you stay on track toward having a safe shop online experience.
First. Is online shopping safe? It can be, but you need to avoid certain obvious no nos. Do not visit suspicious sounding sites. If the url seems strange, or the layout of the site looks very cheap, it is possible that the site is just intended as a front to steal information. Remember that companies do not ask for social security information, and will not ask for credit or social security numbers when sending routine emails. Situational awareness creates safe online shopping.
Second. Is it secure to shop online? Again, it depends. There are many secured sites on the internet. Sites that use https are generally more secure than http sites when making purchases. Also remember that you can dispute charges with your credit card company, and it is usually pretty easy to do and they will drop the charges so long as you show that you made some effort to resolve the issue, such as emailing the seller to ask where a product is after it did not show up, et cetera. Safe online shopping means monitoring your credit card bills.
Third, for secure internet shopping, do not share your passwords with anyone and change them for your often used sites every so often. Try and make your passwords complicated and difficult to guess. The hardest passwords to crack are six character or more phrases that use combinations of letters, capitals, numbers, and symbols, and some sites will even require you to use some of each. If you have trouble remembering them all, store the information in a very safe place.