With increase in the use of the internet come the emerging market of online stores and with it, shopping made easier than ever but it also gave rise to the likelihood of your private information ending up in the wrong hands even though the security of online purchases has advanced with the pace of online sales over the years.
However, you still need to protect yourself from online personal information fraudster and here are tips on things to do, avoid and watch out for.
1) USE A CREDIT/DEBIT CARD WITH ONLINE FRAUD PROTECTION.
First thing first, check or contact your bank or credit card provider to determine if your card has an online fraud protection. If not, try to find one that does offer insurance for online purchases.
Many cards that do will return your money if you are defrauded.
It is discovered that most Credit cards unlike debit cards offers fraud protection. Banks like Guaranty trust bank (GTBank), Access banks and the likes in Nigeria offers things like verification codes which can be used for only one purchase or transaction so that, even if your information is compromised, it can’t be used again so ask your bank if this is an option.
2)ALWAYS RECORD YOUR PURCHASE DETAILS.
Remember, there’s nothing more important than a record keeping, not just in shopping but our daily life. After making a purchase, always record the details of the time, date, receipt number, and order confirmation. If you cannot print one off, take a screenshot as proof of purchase.
3)BE CAREFUL WHAT INFORMATION YOU GIVE.
Never give out excessive information when making online purchases. An online purchase should only require credit/debit card information, address, and phone number. If the website is also asking for your bank verification number (BVN) or social security number, you should be suspicious. This information can be used to steal your identity and should be unnecessary for an online purchase.
4) ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNT STATEMENTS REGULARLY.
When shopping online, check your debit/credit card statements frequently. Watch for suspicious charges and check charges against your records. Call your bank or credit card company immediately if you see anything suspicious
For example, if you bought something from a website and notice transactions on your bank statement that you don’t remember making, chances are, you got hacked, contact your bank or credit card provider immediately.
5)AVOID MAKING PURCHASES IN PUBLIC.
Do not buy anything on public computers, including those available at libraries. If you do, your private information will be saved where others can access it. You should even be careful about making a purchase with your own laptop in a public place. Someone might see you input your data or be able to get information from a shared Wi-Fi connection.
If you must make a purchase in public, using cellphone data is more secure than a public Wi-Fi connection. Consider downloading the retailers’ app to make the purchase.
6)WATCH OUT FOR FAKE ONLINE SHOPPING SITES.
Lot of fake website popping up these days, it therefore safer to always check that the website you are working with is real. Verify that the web address isn’t misspellings, like “campusmaiiy.com ” instead of “campusmally.com”.
Also, Fake websites will also replace a “.com” with a “.net.” Check the website carefully for these errors.
Some scams will pretend to be big box stores, so check the domain names carefully to ensure that it is the correct website, an easy way to do this is to shop with well-known businesses that you are familiar with.
Today most major online stores have physical locations parallel to their websites. These retailers should be reliable.
7)AVOID PURCHASING ON SITE WITH UNCLEAR TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
A good online shopping website should be able to provide a clear terms and conditions on use of the site, purchases done on the site, a retailer’s price for the product you are purchasing, including shipping. The retailer should also be able to tell you what exactly you will get in return.
Avoid, for example, online deals that promise a chance to win something if you make repeated subscription payments.
Always check them out to determine whether the company uses your information for something other than the purchase. Many businesses, for example, will use it to email you with updates or deals. Some might pass your information to third parties
Even most legitimate online retailers will use your information to “spam” you with advertisements. You need to decide for yourself whether that is something you are willing to live with.
9)ONLY MAKE PURCHASES ON SECURE WEBSITES.
Do not make purchases on websites that don’t have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. To check that your website has SSL:
- Look for a padlock symbol in your browser address bar. A closed padlock should appear when you enter into a website with SSL.
- The first letters in the address bar should change from “http” to “https.” Typically, this will not happen for some site until you reach the payment stage
- An unbroken key may also be present on a secure website.
10) NEVER STOP GETTING INFORMED ABOUT SCAMS.
Do note, not all emails and social network notifications, some of which appear to be from well-known companies are true. Some are made by fraudster to circulate around the internet to “phish” for people’s private information. Legitimate companies, including banks, will never send you an email with a link requesting your login, password, or credit card details.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited advertisements that seem to promise too much. If someone, for example, is offering you a free tablet, chances are that they are not legitimate
If the deal is supposedly offered through a major retailer, go directly through the retailers’ website rather than following the link in the advertisement.
Popular scams will often be discussed on the news and articles. Watch the news to keep abreast of current security threats.
Do you have questions, tips on things to do, avoid or be watchful of while shopping online? Please do comment below. Thanks for reading, and see you next time.
Please don’t forget to check out https://campusmally.com for all your needed shopping list, from cosmetics to fashion trendy, from gadgets to accessories, food and confectioneries and more. CampusMally always got you cover and better still you can chat up with us or any of our vendors for more of a particular product or purchase.
Important links to checkout on campusmally.com