Guide to Shopping Safely Online

These days, there is often little need to set foot in an actual store to purchase the products that you want. From groceries to electronics, we are now in an era where you can buy virtually anything online. However, not all online products are created equal and shopping online comes with risks you will not find while shopping at your local shopping mall. While millions of people shop online every day, there are also millions of people falling prey to identity theft, being scammed by online retailers and those ending up with faulty products because they did not do their research. Being aware of the risks that come with shopping online will help make sure you have a positive shopping experience.


General Online Safety

Whether you shop online regularly or just want to purchase one or two hard-to-find items, it helps to know some of the basic risks you face. Don’t start shopping blindly. Instead, make sure you know how to find quality retailers, keep your identity safe and make sure you’re not overpaying for the products you want to buy.

11 Tips for Safe Online Shopping – PC Mag covers the main issues to watch for when shopping online.

Holiday Shopping on the Internet – The FTC helps consumers plan ahead for safe surfing when planning to shop online.

McAfee’s Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping – The Internet security software provider McAfee has first-hand knowledge of the risks that can come from shopping online.

Stay Safe Online: Online Shopping – Stop, think and connect with Stay Safe Online’s general online safety tips.

Safe Online Shopping – Be aware while shopping online and make sure you are shopping securely.

Golden Rules of Safe Internet Shopping – These 12 rules cover nearly every safety issue you may encounter while shopping online.

Online Shopping Tips: E-Commerce and You – Discover all of the risks you face when shopping online and how to avoid them.


Avoiding Identity Theft

Becoming a victim of identity theft is a worry of many shoppers. There are numerous hackers and identity thieves just itching to get ahold of your social security number and credit card information. Learn how to avoid becoming their next victim and what to do if identity thieves find you anyway.

Computer Use in Public Places – Avoid identity theft by avoiding certain activities when using the internet in public places.

Twelve Tips to Protect Yourself from Online Scams – Scammers are ready to steal your money and identity, but you do not have to fall for their tricks.

ID Theft, Fraud and Victims of Cybercrime – Learn how to avoid ID theft and fraud and who to contact if you fall victim to online criminals.

8 Steps to Safe Online Shopping – Bank of America provides ways to keep your identify safe while shopping online.

Online Identity Theft – Discover different methods of identity theft and learn how to avoid them.


Password Safety

Many online retailers store your credit card information, address and purchase history to make the shopping process easier. To help secure your information, you are asked to create a secure password. While the name of your favorite or your birthday may be an easy password to remember, it is also an easy password for hackers to figure out and gain access to your information. When choosing a password, you must keep specific guidelines in mind to help keep your information safe.

Get Safe Online: Passwords – Get Safe Online helps you understand the dos and don’ts of choosing a password for online shopping.

Internet Passwords: Can You Pass the PC World Password Safety Test? – Put your current passwords to the test against PC World’s guidelines for strong Internet passwords.

Choosing and Protecting Passwords – Choosing a strong password is important, but you must also keep that password safe.


Evaluating Online Retailers

Not all online retailers are created equal. While most of your online purchases will likely be through major retailers, when shopping for the best deal, you may come across lesser-known retailers and deal sites. Many of these retailers are legitimate, but not all of them. Before making a purchase online, learn what to look for in an online retailer to ensure your purchase is secure and the product you receive will be exactly what you expected.

How to Shop Online More Safely – Microsoft provides tips to help determine if an online retailer is safe and reliable.

How Secure is Your Transaction? – Learn ways to discover if your transaction is secure and alternate methods for making a more secure transaction.

Avoiding Online Thieves – Know what to look for to make sure you are not falling prey to an online scammer.

CWS: Online Shopping – Understand the different ways to shop online and how to make sure you are safe when dealing with different retailers.

Mercer County Sheriff’s Office: Online Shopping Tips – Learn what to look for on a website to make sure you have a positive online shopping experience.

BBB: Safe, Secure and Approve Places to Visit Online – The Better Business Bureau has identified trustworthy websites to use while shopping online.

Find Similar Stores – If you’re looking for alternatives to a specific ecommerce website, you might want to give this tool a try