SPARE: Five tips for a safer online shopping experience

There is still some time left to pick up some last-minute shopping before it’s too late but in the rush to do so don’t forget to do it safely.

Ever hear the phrase “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”? By definition this phrase is used to describe situations which are so good that it is barely believable that such a situation is possible or even likely.

Still confused? Think about it like this – would you buy branded goods at an unbelievably low price from the back of a van? The idea of branded goods being sold out of a van should automatically raise suspicion about the legitimacy of the goods and even the business itself!

What if you saw that smartphone you’ve always wanted, being sold at a night market? The device is presented in its original box, with an unbroken manufacturers seal, all completely wrapped up in plastic, for half its current retail price? For some, this would seem like the equivalent of finding the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and proceed to purchase the device in a heartbeat, only to eventually realize that they’ve been duped!

The difference between these two scenarios is the presentation of the business and the products being sold. Sure, you could even argue that in today’s marketplace, it is the responsibility of the buyer to test the product first before committing to the purchase. The same however cannot be said about the online marketplace.

In today’s e-commerce market, where online shopping has become extremely convenient and easy, ESET has compressed five simple tips to “SPARE” you the heartache.

S – Secure. Before you begin entering in your payment details into a website, you first need to ensure that the website uses encryption. Look for a small padlock symbol in the address bar and a web address beginning with https://.

P – PIN codes or online banking passwords are something that you will never be asked to share or divulge when making a payment online. Your PIN should only be used at ATM’s and physical, point-of-sales terminals, such as supermarket check-outs.

A – Ask yourself, ask your friends, ask your family, whoever it may be, but ask someone for a second opinion – Why is this being sold at such a cheap rate? Can you find other platforms or retailers selling it as cheaply? At the end of the day, the more you question the purchase without rushing into it, the better the outcome.

R – Reputation plays a big role when shopping online. Website credibility should always be a major consideration as part of your considerations when shopping online.

E – Examine the goods if you have a chance to. At the end of the day, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to ensure the quality of the goods being purchased is up to the standards which they are agreeing to pay for.

At the end of the day, beyond acronyms detailing good online shopping habits, the one thing that we want you to take away after reading this article is “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. Think twice before you checkout and keep your wallet secure from any digital pickpockets.

Source: Welivesecurity