Shopping online has increasingly become the main method of buying for many people. Not only are we now able to conveniently make purchases by the touch of your fingers, but we have also become familiar with next day delivery, better deals, and more items to choose from. It is no surprise that online shopping has become so popular. But how do you know if the site you are shopping on is selling you what you think you are buying? How can we protect ourselves from online shopping security issues?

It is important to make sure to take all the proper precautions when purchasing any type of product online. Since shopping online has become the main way to buy for many, this leads to more shoppers falling victim to cybercrime or scam.

Be On The Lookout

How to make sure the retailer is legitimate before making a purchase:

  • Be sure to check out online reviews through the Better Business Bureau
    ○ Look for negative reports or complaints about the online retailer
  • Search the domain name through Whois.net
    ○ Look for the date when the website was registered
  • Conduct a Google search to read both positive and negative reviews or news stories about the business
    ○ Some positive reviews can be easily faked
    ○ Too many negative reviews is a red flag

Search For Clues

  • Most websites have an “about us” or “contact us” page. For most legitimate sites, they will have their physical address and phone number included. To take it a step further, enter the address provided on the retailer’s website on Google Maps to make sure the location looks like a business would operate there, as opposed to a house.
  • Call the phone number to see if anyone will answer. You can also do a reverse phone lookup to see if the business is who they say they are.
  • Examine the writing and URL included in the retailer’s website. The URL is important because, in a type of online shopping scams, cybercriminals will make exact copies of legit websites with a slightly different address. Make sure the business name is spelled correctly and there aren’t any extra characters. The URL should not be too long or complicated.
  • Look for seals of approval. Some retailers may have seals of approval on their homepage to exemplify their reputation or responsible data collection practices. Some seals of approval include the Better Business Bureau seal, the TRUSTe Certified seal, or the Norton secured seal.

Staying Secure When Making The Purchase

Look for the padlock symbol to the left of the URL. This indicates that the site securely protects your payment information. This should only be trusted when the padlock is in the same field as the URL, which should begin with https.

Online shopping has clear advantages, but it consistently tends to create issues for people who don’t really know who they are buying from. To learn more about ways to protect yourself and personal information when shopping online, contact ThrottleNet today!