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Monday, April 13, 2015

Online Shopping: Safety Tips

India is witnessing an unprecedented economic boom. We can see the effect of this boom all around us. Among others, there has been an exponential rise in consumer spending. At the same time, more and more consumers are looking for easy way to shop since their time is increasingly under pressure.

E-commerce or online shopping provides a way out. Given the near universal availability of Internet connectivity, consumers save time and efforts by shopping online. More and more merchants are realising the enormous potential of the medium of Internet and are gearing up to offer products and services.


As the potential of online shopping is being grasped, the risks are going up too, particularly for consumers. Sadly, many online shoppers ignore the pitfalls and do not follow even minimum risk protection norms. If anything, online shopping frauds are more dangerous, because once the security is breached, fraudsters can siphon off a lot of money without the victim realising it.

Following some non-negotiable security norms is not an option; it is a pre-requisite for a delightful online shopping experience. So, the next time you shop online, do follow these tips:

1. Link Of A Website: Avoid going to an online shopping site through a link or pop-ups, howsoever interesting the offers are. Always type the website address into the address bar. Be wary of tempting offers, as they may be from fraudsters who have created a fake site.

2. Look For The Image Of A Lock At The Bottom Right Corner: To make sure your website is safe, look for the image of a closed lock in the browser window. Click on the icon and ensure the security certification is displayed. You are vulnerable to identity theft when you are entering your information on a spoofed site.

3. Check Privacy Policy: Are you sure the seller of a website where you have given personal details is not sharing them with others for money? Check the Privacy Policy of the website to make sure what the seller will and will not do with details about you.

4. Be Wary Of e-mails: You may receive an e-mail that appears as if it is from the seller that you have shopped online. You may be asked for your personal information to "verify" the accounts or "clear-up" errors that have occurred. Before responding, reconfirm with the seller. Call up and confirm if necessary, or send a mail and act only after you get a response.

5. Secured Programs: If the purchases are through a debit or credit card, then make sure that you sign-up for the "verified by VISA" and/or "Master secured code program(s)". Each transaction will then be authorised only by you.

6. Anti-Spyware/Trojan Software: Make sure that the latest version of antivirus, anti-spyware or anti-Trojan programs are installed on your PC or laptop and are regularly updated.

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