Online Shopping Made Safer

SS Member Image By drodriguez 12.05.09
Online Shopping Made Safer

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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  • xntexas By xntexas

    I too only go to sites I feel safe and are well known. Also I check my brower url . I Use

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    i only go and favorite the sites that i trust so there is little to no error when i need to pull up the site again. I have been worried about credit card fraud and i have been a victim of this twice in less then a month with the same credit card company. once when i found out that someone charged over $100 for a Halloween costum, mind you i don't celebrate. i got the cc company to put a stop on the card and dispute the charges. then they replaced my cc and less then a week later, i don't know how, someone used the new card to charge for cable across the country??? i haven't even used the new card yet!!!! seriously. now i don't trust this cc company and haven't touched the card since. thank's American Express, you sure know how to give me a head ache

  • summitqwestcomp By summitqwestcomp

    I did a lot more shopping online this year than in past years. I feel safe with more mainstream sites or sites that have been recommended to me by friends or family.

  • Mimisitas By Mimisitas

    i feel safe and comfortable so far shopping online!! the tips are useful! before i purchase anything online i research the site. Also i would rather purchase from a site that offers paypal. The http(s) is also a major thing i look at before i buy anything!!

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    Shopping online is such a great convenience but I think we all have to be smart shoppers!

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57

    I found these tips to be very informative and helpful. I have resorted to doing more shopping on line these days, so I will be more mindful when doing so in order to prevent any issues!

  • momagarry By momagarry

    Great tips!

  • momagarry By momagarry

    I feel very safe shopping online.

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