Safe & Secure Online: 5 Rules to Keep Your Internet Shopping Fraud-Free

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Image by: elhombredenegro
By Judy Willard

Everyone is doing it. Why shouldn’t you? Online shopping is not just a trend. It is a great way to get what you want at the price you are looking for. Credit cards and online payment services are doing everything in their power to ensure your financial security online, but sometimes it doesn’t work.

Online shopping can be very scary to those who don’t know exactly what to look for, because when it comes to fraud and security, you can never be too careful.

If you are the type of girl who loves to get shopping done online, you may find yourself in dangerous places looking for a good deal. With the ease and time-saving techniques of online shopping comes the danger of having your identity stolen, your credit card number stolen, or your money stolen when you think you’re purchasing a product.

Well, ladies, there are a few things to look out for when it comes to online shopping. These five simple rules will help you ensure that you are exercising proper online safety while you go shopping from the comfort of your couch.

#1) Find a Designated Credit Card

When it comes to the internet, you can never be too careful. The best way to focus on safety is to keep as little of your information away from the World Wide Web as possible. For this reason, it is essential for you to find one credit card to represent all of your online sales.

Having three different credit card numbers out there can be very dangerous if someone hacks into your computer or an account.

Additional credit cards may be used, if they are credit cards specific to the company that you are purchasing from. For example, many department stores such as JC Penny, Kohl’s, and Macy’s have cards specific to their stores. When you are shopping on their sites, use your accounts with the company. This will be easier for you to keep track of where your purchases were made.

For other online shopping from venders that are not large-scale, it is important for you to take extra care with the amount of credit card numbers you make available to these companies.

Keep your designated internet shopping credit card away from your other shopping. This is a great way to keep yourself organized, and pay close attention to your online purchases.

#2) Find Sites With Password Protection

As a general rule, I never make a credit card purchase from a website that I don’t have to register for. Registration will help the site track your purchases. Therefore, if someone makes a purchase out of your ordinary purchase routine, you can easier explain when there is a case of identity theft.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that your password is strong enough so no one will know it. The strongest passwords are things that are completely out of the ordinary.

A great way to create passwords is to make your password your favorite quotation or a line from your favorite book or movie. This is a great way to have a long password that will be nearly impossible for anyone to figure out.

Give yourself a hint on the password by writing down the name of the book or movie. Never add your credit card or bank information to a website that doesn’t require a password. This can leave your information wide open for prowlers.

#3) Know Who You’re Buying From

If you are on an auction website, it is important to take a few extra steps in figuring out who you are buying from. Most of these sites have a rating system for previous buyers to leave comments about the vender’s reputation. If they don’t ship in the promised time, you might want to stay away from them.

Sometimes, you will see reviews stating that people did not receive their items. I don’t care how many stars this vender has, it is important that you use your best instincts to decide if you really want to make a purchase from this person.

It is scary to think that you might spend any amount of money for a product, and then not receive it.

While these websites can work their way into getting you a refund, it can take quite a bit of time, and it ends up being a very big headache for you. Therefore, it is important for you to know who you are making your purchases from. Use the comments to help you decide on venders that you don’t know yet.

#4) Lock & Key Sites

When you add your information to any website, make sure that the URL begins with “https”. That “s” is very important, because it signifies a secure site.

It is important to note that just because it is a secure site doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most secure, and that you are free from any internet predators. However, it is important to never, ever, ever put your personal or financial information on a site that does not have the “https” URL.

#5) Track Your Items

The best way to ensure that you are not a victim of internet predators is to pay close attention to the items that you buy. Print out your confirmation emails. These emails are a great way to keep track of what should be in each box that is sent to you.

Use these printouts as checklists to help you make sure that you have received all of the items that you purchased. Compare the total on the confirmation email to the amount charged to your credit card statement.

This is a great way to keep track of your finances while you ensure that you get everything that you have paid for.

Internet security is very important. To ensure that you are practicing safe activities while you shop online, make sure you set rules for yourself and stick to them. It is important to ensure that you are on secure sites, purchasing from secure venders, and keeping track of your orders and what arrives. What are some rules you have for your own internet shopping security? Share with us in the comments below!

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