Every woman loves to shop, after all why shouldn’t we? There are multitudes of good designs, products and brands out there which we can reach by a few clicks. E-commerce is booming with diverse shopping options, bargains, and deals to catch. However, with all these crowded options there are a few fraud risks to be aware of when shopping online. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Check the lock. You always have to use websites with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption installed. You can check it easily by the website address. It may not show up as soon as you’re on the website but when you get to the checkout, it should be there. The sites’ URL with SSL starts with HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://. Also, a locked padlock icon will appear in the status bar of your web browser or it will show up in the address bar next to the URL.
2. Personal Information
Be on alert when sharing your personal information such as your birthdate, social security number, PIN or online banking password etc. Especially in combination with your debit/credit card number. The more personal information you shared online, the more vulnerable you will be to the identity theft.
3. Strong Passwords
Be mindful when creating passwords. It is for your own security that your password is not easy to guess. Utilizing strong passwords are very important when banking, shopping online and creating new accounts on e-commerce sites. Get creative, make it hard to guess but just not too hard that you don’t remember!
4. Shared Internet
Avoid making online purchases when you are in a public place. All of your information when you are entering them digitally can be seen by others. Second of all, when you’re using a wireless internet service (‘Wi-Fi’) in public, there is a huge risk that the network is not secure (even if they give you the password). A better alternative is a wireless connection through a virtual private network (VPN) connection or using your 3G/4G.
5. Tracking Your Transactions
Check your statements after you’ve completed shopping to ensure that the correct amount has been transacted. If you wait too late to check you may not notice additional costs charged or any other activities in your account that could be fraudulent. It can take 3-5 working days for some purchases to show up on your statements but once they do be sure to check the costs.
If you see any suspicious activity with your bank, you should act immediately and resolve the matter quickly. It is essential that in any fraud case you notify the bank within 30 days and notify them of any card issuer problems.