All those men and (obviously) women who love to shop really thanked the cyber revolution when it entered into their favourite domain of shopping as well. They all dreamt about the immense possibilities that were opened to them and wondered if it was really true that one could shop without having to leave the comfort of their home. The whole ensemble seemed too good to be true – the amazing prices, the comfort of shopping from home and all you needed was a credit or debit card. Then the unimaginable happened. One such customer, who probably forgot to check some vital information about the internet site that he bought a certain commodity at, either lost money on something really substandard, or, was cheated in any other way that caused him much loss – monetary and otherwise. He/she posted about it on a blog and the whole world began to shy away from the boon called internet shopping. Though it is true that cyber crimes are not easy to put a check on and police in India are not equipped enough to deal with them, one has to keep a few things in mind before shopping on the internet. Here are a few things that one should keep in mind to be able to shop over the net safely.
Online Shopping Tips
Bigger The Name, Better
The most well known internet shopping sites are the safest when it comes to safety policies and so on. In addition, if your gut tells you that a deal that you found is too good to be true, it probably is. Often such deals are tricks to get a customer to share personal information, which the smaller and lesser known sites exploit for their own good.
When In Doubt, Ask
Most reputed companies offer their numbers for the convenience of their customer, in case they have any queries. If the online shopping site that you have opted for offers no numbers and only email addresses, beware! It could be the first sign that you opted for the wrong site. If they have a number, call on it and wait till a person talks to you. If the phone goes into voice mail repeatedly, you should just exit that site and shop somewhere else. If they pick up the phone, ask them to provide you with a catalogue.
If you do not have a computer at home, you might want to opt to shop from the many internet cafes in your vicinity, but it could be a wrong choice that you made. Many people who run internet café insert a keylogger into the back of the keyboard. It looks like a harmless adaptor but captures and stores everything you typed before it is saved. It could also be present in the form of software inside the computer, making it even hard to detect.
Encryption Doesn’t Equal Security
Most people know that, at the time of giving out personal information like credit card number and checking out from it, the “plural URL” should appear, i.e. the http:// that we read on the URL bar should change to https://, which signifies that the personal information of the customer has been encrypted and is safe. However, even that is not enough to prove the trust-worthiness of the site. It is like saying, as an expert pointed out, “… that someone owns a house just because they can lock the front door.” The best way to verify the safety of a customer’s personal and sensitive information is to call on the number they provide and ask the company about its safety policy.