Online shopping has become an integral part of our modern society, and with the festive season right around the corner, we see various e-commerce portals offering attractive festive offers, driving more people to their platforms. While online shopping is bliss for humanity, the chances of becoming a victim of cyber fraud are much higher than in ordinary retail outlets. It is important to know certain rules while shopping online so that you do not lose your money, especially during this festive season.
Shop only on verified sites
The chance of being a victim of a fraudulent scheme is much lower on a website you already know. Those companies that have already built up their reputation and a large customer base will not take risks just for the sake of momentary quick earnings. Therefore, even during festive seasons, resist the temptation to order an item from an unknown seller offering a lower price. Festive time is not a reason to test new sellers or portals, especially the lesser-known ones with hard-to-believe offers.
Special attention should be paid to domains. Often, fraudsters use well-known brands with different Top Level Domains (TLDs). You can understand this by looking at the end of the address, e.g. instead of .com it may be .in, .net or .org. Of course, such sites may offer good promotions, but there is no guarantee that you will receive the goods ordered for the promotion (usually carried out on an advance payment). In addition, the owners of such sites get access to the confidential payment information of their customers.
Websites must be encrypted
Don’t forget to look at the start of the website address (URL) as well – a secure website always starts with https://. It is not recommended to make purchases with your banking information on sites whose address starts with http://. It’s quite possible that such sites may not be owned by a fraudster but by an honest seller. However, your payment details on such sites are prone to theft as they transit over an insecure channel.
You should also stay alert in case you receive a request to send your credit card number or other details via e-mail. A normal e-store never works in this way.
In well-known online stores, you’ll need to create your own personal account. And here, too, you need to follow the safety rules and be creative while setting your password. It has long been known that using simple attributes such as your date of birth or car number as a password is highly vulnerable. However, there are many people who forget about it. If you can’t come up with a strong password yourself, you can use a trusted password generator.
This feature is available in many password managers. It uses random characters and then stores them in its own secure database.
Check your financial transactions
Make it a habit to regularly check the status of your cards and bank accounts through internet banking or mobile banking. Often, during the festive season, we are less attentive and relaxed, and we use our cards in unfamiliar places. Carefully check each payment, and examine invoices for payments that you did not make. By noticing such transactions in time, you can block the card or account and prevent fraudsters from accessing your savings. At the slightest suspicion, call the hotline of the bank that you have an account with or issued your card, and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
How to return?
It is rare, but it does happen that the goods you ordered at the same time were already purchased by another person and are no longer in stock. Therefore, before using the online store, find out in advance the return procedure at your bank or technical support, if we are talking about electronic money.
Do not neglect endpoint security; install a reliable antivirus on your computer or smartphone. Try not to click on pop-ups; they may be malicious!
Stay cyber-safe and enjoy your online shopping! Happy Festival Days!
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