Online shopping offers a convenient way to buy the items on your loved ones’ wish lists without dealing with crowds or lousy weather. The internet is also a great place to find deals during the holidays.
With holiday shoppers hitting the net, South Source takes a look at some tips offered by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on how to shop safely online.
Your computer should have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software, and a secure firewall.
Companies registered with the Better Business Bureau Online are more likely to be legitimate and committed to doing safe business. Do your homework to find out more about a particular site.
If a web offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Consumers should always go with their gut feeling and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might end up costing them. If you are unsure about a site, it is better to avoid it completely than to take chances.
Phishing is a scam email that appears to be from a store, bank, or online transaction service. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to verify personal information by email. If a consumer receives such an email, BBB recommends calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm whether there really is a problem.
Online shopping can be very secure, as long as you take necessary precautions. Shop only with websites merchants that offer secure transactions. Look in the URL address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying.
A risk with online shopping is purchasing something that you might be dissatisfied with because it is not what it seemed to be. Before making a purchase, check to see what kind of return policy is in place.
Experts say credit cards are the safest method of payment for online purchases. Under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item.
After completing the order online, there may be a final confirmation page or confirmation by email. BBB recommends saving a copy of the confirmation page and any emails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
Author: Darice Britt