Safe Online Shopping: 10 Ideas to Avoid Getting Burned

You have to buy gifts for the holiday season and you need to purchase them quickly. It is possible to sometimes brave the madness of buying at your neighborhood mall or kick back at home and buy all your gifts online. Doing all your holiday shopping online can be quite a great way to save lots of time while you find the right gifts at the very best price. You'll miss the parking lot wars, avoid obtaining the flu from your fellow shoppers, and keep out of pick-pockets' crosshairs. But though it could be easy and convenient to look in your pajamas, you still need to take precautions to ensure your digital 'purse strings' are safe and secure. Here are some simple tips for safe online shopping:
Secure your computer. Ensure that your family computer has updated security program installed, and run regular technique check to keep hackers' keylogging viruses away.
ONLY shop from home. Don't do your online shopping from the neighborhood caf�, the airport or other public places. These open systems are easier targets for identification thieves to hack into your computer. Only shop from your own secured home network.
Click carefully. Your preferred store just sent you an excellent voucher! But wait! Before you select email links, be certain of where they lead. Fraud emails can look just like the real ones from your favorite stores, with links that appear to take you to legitimate sites. But hover on the link and you may see a different web address - this may be a fake site, designed to gather your credit card details for fraud. Your safest wager would be to manually navigate to your favorite retailer's website.
Know thy merchant. One of best elements of online shopping is easily comparing prices to locate a great deal. You may find the gift you need for half the purchase price - but make sure the merchant is reputable and trustworthy. If you haven't done enterprise with a merchant before, look for online reviews. Making use of aggregators like Amazon.com and Yahoo Browsing is another good way to ensure your merchant doesn't get you for a fraudulent sleigh ride.
Lock down your site. Once you visit a retailer's website, search for "https" at the start of the URL. This "s" - plus a small gold secure the lower-right corner of your browser - indicates an extra level of security for the online shopping.
Log out. Always logout securely when leaving a website.
Check if your payment details are stored. Some online browsing sites ask if you want to store your payment details for future purchases. It's always handy to have your information stored, especially if you utilize that site often. But, watch out for this on lesser-known websites.
Compare 'real' prices. Be sure to know how much you may be charged for shipping, and if you can find any taxes or fees that will be added to your web purchase. These 'extras' can truly add up quickly, so make sure to include them when comparison shopping. Many retailers offer free delivery around the holidays, and others allow free in-store pick-up of your online purchases - easy ways to add extra cost savings to your holiday shopping.
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Know the Return Policy. Browse the merchant's return policy before making your purchase. One of the downsides of online shopping may be the inability to 'try it on' or see the item before purchasing, so make sure your merchant offers you an easy way to return/refund your purchase if it's not what you expected.

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