Today shopping online is more than a fad. It has literally become a way of life. People flock to online shopping sites to save money & enjoy great discounts and coupons. But shopping online has its own cons & disadvantages. There are ample cases where people have been duped by fake online shopping sites or their confidential information’s have been hacked while shopping online.

Below we’ve given 10 useful tips on how you can stay safe while shopping online. Some of the tips pertain to how to recognize fake shopping site. Also, some of the below tips are equally applicable even if you’re shopping on renowned shopping site like Amazon, eBay or Flipkart.

Top 10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping this Holiday Season

Stay Away from Suspicious Looking Shopping Sites

Actually you can never be sure about which shopping site is legitimate and which is one is not. However, there are certain trademark qualities & characteristics of fake shopping sites. These includes poor web design, multiple pop ups and nonsensical URL address. If you ever across these traits in any of the shopping sites, then you shouldn’t think twice about closing down this site.

Ensure that Your Antivirus is Always Updated

Do you know most of the fake shopping sites or for that matter all fake sites are always infected with virus and malwares. So, anytime in future if you ever gatecrash into any fake shopping site, your updated antivirus will immediately alert you about the site being suspicious or harmful to your system. This is, however, only possible if your antivirus is updated. Hence if you’re flirting with the idea of doing some online shopping on relatively unpopular shopping site, then do ensure that you’re antivirus is fully updated.

Offers are Too Good to be True

in case if any shopping site is desperately trying to lure with offers that are so unbelievable that you’re literally finding it difficult to believe in it, then you must stop yourself immediately. However, you may argue that even big online shopping companies like Flipkart offers Flipkart coupons to lure customers with discounts. But Flipkart or any other genuine shopping site’s discounts are far more reasonable & realistic; at least realistic enough to believe that they are real discount scheme & not online scam. Always get your coupon codes from reliable sites, this can always help you save some money.

Prefer Using Virtual Credit Card for Shopping

Virtual credit card is actually a temporary credit card whose validity expires as soon as the transaction is completed. This type of card is specifically made for online transactions. The great advantage of using virtual credit card is that it safeguards your actual credit card from being exposed to potential hackers or online crooks. And incase if the online shopping site does turn out to be a crook or fake, then your loss would only constitute the actual amount you’ve paid via your virtual credit card. All other details of your virtual credit card would amount to nothing as its validity will be over immediately after completion of your transaction.

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Never Shop on a Public WiFi Spots

Do you know any data that is entered on WiFi spot is never encrypted, in other words all you’re confidential or non confidential information’s are easily accessible on World Wide Web when you access net on WiFi spot. So never ever do online shopping on WiFi spots.

Constantly Change Your Passwords

No matter how uncomfortable it may be, but constantly changing your password of your net banking & all your online shopping accounts will keep you secured in the online world. Although all online shopping sites claim to be enabled with SSL (Secure Socket Layer protocol) to ensure 100% privacy of your information, it is still advisable to change your passwords once in every 2 months.

Also, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes passwords: never use your date-of-birth as your password and never use the same password for multiple accounts.

Do Some Online Research

if you’re thinking of shopping on a relatively unpopular online store, then it is better to do some Google research on it before. No matter how unpopular a shopping site is, there has to be at least some reviews about it on the internet. If there are lots of good reviews about it on multiple sites, then you must surely take a chance with that site. However, don’t just cross check with only one or two sites but as many sites as possible.

Never Dole Out Too Many Personal Information

Any genuine shopping site is always & only interested in basic information’s: i.e. your credit card/debit card number, debit/credit card expiry date, your email address, your postal address and your mobile number. Any demand of any other personal information’s should surely force you to smell the rat. And in case if any shopping site is requesting you to give access to your Facebook or Google+ account, then that shopping site is surely a fraud.

Also Check : How to Sell Products Online - A Humorous Guide (Infographic)

Make Sure to Read Terms & Conditions

This may not be very important if you’re using Flipkart, Ebay or Amazon, but very important if you’re shopping on an online store that is relatively new to this business. No matter how cumbersome this task may be, do read it completely and thoroughly. At least for the sake of ensuring that there are no hidden charges and any other strings attached to your transaction.

Prefer Cash on Delivery

Try playing it little smarter. Rather than paying via credit or debit card, chose the cash on delivery option. By choosing this option, your money will always be 100% safe. And if the product does reach your door steps, then this will surely help in creating trust between you & online shopping site. So, next time you can at least take a chance on paying via online rather than cash on delivery.