While most websites are becoming more and more secure when it comes to doing online sales, there is still the risk of being the victim on identity theft or fraud when shopping online. Whether you're buying products through your job or a new sweater that is not available in stores, there are several precautions that you should take to be sure you're making a safe transaction. Here are some simple tips that will help keep you from the preying eyes of con artists and online thieves.
Make sure you're doing all of your shopping from a secure computer. While it may be tempting to check out some online sample sales during your lunch break from work or buy theater tickets from an internet cafe while on vacation, this is not the best choice when it comes to being safe with your personal data. Even if you're dealing with a reliable company, there are ways of programming that specific machine to save and send off all of the information that you enter into a website.
Check your personal computer frequently for spyware and other downloaded viruses. If you or someone in your home uses online chat programs and you're working with a Windows operating system, it's likely spyware is frequently finding its way onto your PC. Before you pay online or transfer funds via sites like PayPal, make sure that your computer is as secure as possible. It would be a good idea to invest in a quality virus protection program. While there are free downloads available online, they are not as current as the programs you pay for. If you're not careful, they can even be viruses in themselves.
Only shop on sites that you know. Many people love online shopping because it's possible to find some really great deals. But, you don't want to just do business with any website you come across, no matter what their prices might be. If you live in a small area and don't have access to a national chain that you love, it's probably safe to shop on their website. Just be weary of the sites that don't tell you exactly where your money is going and to who.
Find ways of keeping your information to yourself. If you are dealing with a less well-known company, you may want to investigate other methods of payment than just giving over your personal or credit card information. Services like PayPal allow you to create an account so that you are able to deal using only your user name. This will mean that you can have all sorts of things delivered to your door from Ebay, Amazon, or even an international firm.
Nearly 40 million people fell victim to online theft last year. To avoid adding your name to this year's list, take the proper steps to only make safe and secure transactions.
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