Tuesday, September 9, 2008

eShopping - How to shop online safely and securely using credit cards

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I am sure like everyone else you too must be enjoying the thrill of eShopping.

Online shopping is convenient for making ones purchases from the comfort of ones home.

No need to step outside your house while its perhaps raining or snowing while you remain cooped up cozily and place all your orders online using the Personal Computer or Laptop having an internet access.

All you need to do is place orders and make the payments using the credit card for those items that are being offered for sale.

These items are sold on the internet by specific websites involved in e-retailing or simply etailing.

This is something similar to mail order business. The items are then delivered to your own address or any other one that you specifically mention, suppose when you wish to gift somebody.

Online shopping has turned out to be a hit particularly when people have become price conscious and wish to make a comparison of the different websites that are offering attractive discounts on similar or same items.

Moreover with rising fuel prices and long hours at the office are turning more and more people to the internet to make their purchases online instead of taking the trouble to drive to a store or a mall and then spend an hour or so hunting for the particular item. 

Although online shopping is turning out to be popular by the day, however one needs to exercise caution to prevent fraudulent misuse of your credit card and bank details by online thieves or hackers waiting to pounce on the information that you send across the internet to place your orders.

These cyber criminals are waiting to get the details of your credit card and make their own purchases without your knowledge in a clandestine operation of which you have the scantiest idea at all. 

It is with the purpose of making you aware of the many loopholes that exists on the internet and which cyber criminals most often take advantage of that I have for your convenience listed some of the precaution that you need to have.

If I have ever been duped by deceit I have never enjoyed the experience after I had realized that someone had dared to cheat me in broad daylight.

Well the experiences are always bitter unless you learn from your mistake such as not to repeat it ever again   and laugh it off many years later down memory lane. 

Precaution 1

Never trust anyone, even if the person is an employee of a reputed company. Do not ever rattle out the details of your credit card over the phone, for the employee could put you on the spot by making purchases for personal use without your knowledge or that of the company for whom he works for. 

According to David Bowles, who is the president of San Antonio based dabow inc., that advices companies on online transaction, its always safe to enter your credit card number in the website's secured payment gateway. 

Precaution 2

Beware of fraudulent websites that appears legitimate, but have been set up by master criminals . These duplicate or fraud websites are meant to dupe the innocent online shopper into thinking that they are entering into a genuine website of some reputed company where as its actually the opposite.  

It is possible that you come across a link, possibly in some website or article that you came across on the website, better still recommended by an email. You follow the link that takes to a website that exactly appears same as the one which is genuine. You are then asked to fill up a form where you give the details of your credit card.

This is how people are being duped dime a dozen and ripped off completely. You realize only after few days after you receive the credit card statement of items you never ordered for. 

In a survey carried out by Gartner Inc., as much as $3.2 Billion has been lost last year alone in the United States because of such fraudulent means using fake websites. 

So as precaution and your own safety its best to type in the actual address of the particular website in the Address Bar. Do not try to follow a link just because it appears to be genuine. 

Moreover look out for the browser to turn green after you have typed in the address. This shows that the website has been paid for and hence has undergone verification process to validate that the business is a legitimate one. 

Precaution 3

When placing an order from a website always make sure that the order page has an encryption service to scramble all the details that you send when placing the order. This prevents hackers to make heads or tails of the information in case they intercept it fraudulently. 

Precaution 4

Look out for website that has an "s" which follows after the "http" such as the "https" instead of simply an "http" in the web address. 

So whenever you place an order be particular to make note that the web address of the Order page of the particular shopping website has an 'https'. 

Precaution 5

Another is of course the classic display of a closed padlock, most often shown in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. 

In case you notice the lever is open it immediately notifies that the website is unsecured and should be best avoided for any further transaction if at all. 



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