Last year, 65% of European Internet users shop online. This is 15% more in comparison with 2007, according to Eurostat data. It is expected that Internet shopping will keep becoming more and more popular in the future.
Here are some pieces of advice to keep your money safe from WestStein board member Signe Kalnina.
Make sure the website you shop at is authentic
In regards to large platforms like Ebay, Amazon, ASOS, Etsy and others, there is no doubt they can be trusted. However, we often look for the best possible deal online. Sometimes this search leads us into unknown territory. For example, there are tens of thousands of websites that sell the popular Beats headphones. At the same time, consumer rights protection authorities in many countries have forced closure on countless fraudster websites.
This is why it is highly important to pay attention when shopping online: check if the website’s name is even the same as advertised (unfortunately, even the most popular Internet shops are forged), check the price, grammar and other details that may raise your suspicion about a website’s authenticity. If a website does not have a contact page, if it does not provide information about the trader, transaction rules and other important information, it would be best to that website.
Make sure the website uses secure https protocol
Before making your purchase, make sure the check if the website’s address starts with ‘https’ and has a symbol of a lock on the side. This means the website is secure. If the address does not have these precautions, it is best to be careful. The ‘s’ is https means all the information processed on the website is encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. This means the data of your payment card will remain secure.
Check user feedback about the trader
Remember – the Internet knows everything. People like sharing their shopping experience and communicating with suppliers. Global outlook of Internet trade prepared by PwC points out that 67% of respondents write and read shopping feedback on social networks. This is why you ought to look up other people’s opinions about Internet traders.
You can also check http://www.resellerratings.com/ to find scores given to different Internet suppliers by users.
Use a separate payment card for Internet purchases
Purchases online is one of the spheres for which it would be prudent to set aside some money for reasons of security. Statistics show that each 86th online transaction is under risk of some kind of fraud.
The easiest solution would be having a debit card that does not rely on the main bank account. It can be ordered online from your bank. What is important about it is that debit cards can only be used to spend money that is added to the card’s account by the user.
«The fact that you should not keep all eggs in one basket is also demonstrated by the fact that two months ago malicious software was discovered in payment systems of more than 20 hotels in USA. This means that it was likely being used to gather and send information about hotel clients’ payment cards to cyber criminals,» – said Kalnina.
Use a payment card with high-level protection
Secure payment card elements, commercial banks and traders ensure the safety of Internet transactions. One of the latest Internet transaction security measures is 3D Secure system. It helps significantly reduce the possibility of someone else’s payment card to perform Internet transactions. It includes an additional identity verification step that allows traders and card users to make sure the card is being used by the real owner. The first stage of the authentication process requires the user to input the payment card holder’s data. The second stage requires the user to input a special password. It is worth keeping in mind that this system is only used by Internet-shops that have joined this system.
Watch your presence on the Internet and regularly check your profile
Almost all Internet shops ask users to create a client profile before allowing any purchases to be made. However, collection of personal data on the Internet is source of headaches for people, as it is nearly impossible to recall where and why people provide their personal data. This is why you should delete the profile on shopping websites you know you will never use again.