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Online Shopping Made Safer

SS Member Image By drodriguez 12.05.09
Online Shopping Made Safer
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As the holidays grow closer and the lines at the department stores grow longer it may make more sense for some of us to do our shopping online.  With lots of websites offering free shipping and smart deals, shopping online can sometimes save you both time and money.  It's not unusual, however, for some to wonder how safe it really is to shop online and whether or not to share their personal information with just any site.

A recent article from the Washington Post shares some great tips on how to safely shop online this holiday season.  One tip is to use your credit card rather than your debit card.  Even though you may not want to wrack up the credit card bill this year,  fraud analyst Avivah Litan explains why it is safer than using a debit card.  Litan says that if your debit card number is stolen online it can be more complicated to sort out with the bank than if a credit card number is stolen, especially when fraud causes overdrafts or bounced checks.  Whereas with credit cards there are usually policies in place that limit your responsibility for fraudulent activity to around $50. 

Make sure you see the SSL sign/padlock on the browser address bar before entering any personal or financial information.  If you don't see this, you are probably on a fraudulent site.  Also, make sure to keep all of your receipts or take a screen shot so you can easily keep track of all your online shopping. 

If sharing personal financial information over the web still rubs you the wrong way, there may be some alternatives.  Some sites offer a "bill me later" option or you may want to consider using apre-paid credit card so there is no danger of your real credit card number being stolen. 

Another good tip when online shopping is to take your time, read all the fine print so you know you will be getting exactly what you want.  Though a lot of online stores are offering free shipping, make sure you read all the terms before making the purchase.  Look to see if they offer a return policy and make sure you are not signing up for any unwanted offers.

What do you think of the online shopping security tips offered above?

Do you feel comfortable doing some of your holiday shopping online this year?

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  • MEMarshall By MEMarshall
    02.20.10  

    I am becoming very familiar with and loving online shopping, I even get cash back on all of my purchases. Check out this site www.dollars4shopping.com, you will love it and there are over 700 stores.

  • terpsichore15 By terpsichore15
    01.09.10  

    This post is really helpful.I wanna try online shopping as many of the products that I am curious about recently are from Asia but I'm not sure as how to do this safely.

  • marrbear By marrbear
    01.05.10  

    So far I have not had a problem but always try to be careful regarding the sites I use. I do most of my shopping on line not in the stores

  • Alyssarae92293 By Alyssarae92293
    12.29.09  

    I HATE PUTTING MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER ON THE INTERNET!!!!!

  • blueeyes1 By blueeyes1
    12.25.09  

    I have onlined shop for years now and feel safe doing so. I use a credit card to limit my liability, and I look for the safety padlock on the web site. I also open up another window and check for coupon codes before I ever check out. This has saved me money on many occasions. I made an early New Years resolution this year to only shop at places which offered free shipping and free returns. One of my new favorite places to shop is Shoebuy.com! I love the free shipping/returns, the prices, and once you order you become a member and are rewarded with more discounts! I would recommend this site to everyone. I also shop from Amazon quite frequently and have had nothing but great service from them as well.

  • Monzav By Monzav
    12.15.09  

    I really like the above tips! The padlock icon on the toolbar is something I have recently noticed... and I'm glad I did! I rarely shop from "small businesses" online, which sounds awful, unless I personally know/have been in personal contact with the person who runs it. I'm far too paranoid of my information being stolen, so I try to take good care of where I shop and my security options. Thanks for the extra tips!

  • heather23 By heather23
    12.15.09  

    Free Shipping Day is this Thursday Dec 17 - Check out www.freeshppingday.com for a listing of all participating on-line stores! On-line shopping with free shipping is as good as it gets...

  • AimeeAken By AimeeAken
    12.15.09  

    Another great tip that most people are not aware of, if a website starts with http: it is not a secure sight, but if it starts with https .. the "S" stands for secure. You will also see the little padlock at the bottom of the page as already mentioned.

  • nikkiq By nikkiq
    12.13.09  

    i have alot problem shopping on line they send me wrong merchandise, size does not fit, can't tell from the picture on internet if it quality or not , like homedepot order fence two week later order more fence they said is discontinue . i would rather go to store and shop as list i can tell what the product look like, or be able to try on. on internet you pay to ship back, so for me would not be worth it.

  • DigitalDiva By DigitalDiva
    12.13.09  

    I love online shopping, but only at the stores that I trust. I always make sure the address in my browser starts with "https:" and I also look for the lock icon; if neither of them appears...I disappear from that site!

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