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Home  > About Theisen Clock & Novelty  > About Safe Shopping Online

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About safe online shopping

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About safe online shopping

Safe online shopping and some common misconceptions

Highlighted below is an article by John Mussi "Guide to Shopping Online Safely" which is a good example of the standard guidlines for "safe online shopping" most of which is good advice and should be considered when making purchases online, in a grocery store or at a gas station.

Guide to Shopping Online Safely
 by: John Mussi

Shopping on the Internet has now become commonplace. The Internet is an exciting tool that puts vast information at your fingertips. With a click of a mouse, it lets you buy an airline ticket, book a hotel, send flowers to a friend, purchase your favourite item, bank and invest online.

Shopping online offers lots of benefits that you won’t find shopping in a store or by mail. The Internet is always open – seven days a week, 24 hours a day – and bargains can be numerous online. Most consumers use credit or debit cards to pay for online purchases.

Online Payment options:

Most online shoppers use credit cards to pay for their online purchases. But debit cards - which authorize merchants to debit your bank account electronically - are increasing in use. To complete a debit card transaction, you may have to use a personal identification number (PIN), some form of a signature or other identification, or a combination of these identifiers. Some cards have both credit and debit features: You select the payment option at the point-of-sale. But remember, although a debit card may look like a credit card, the money for debit purchases is transferred almost immediately from your bank account to the merchant's account. In addition, your liability limits for a lost or stolen debit card and unauthorized use are different from your liability if your credit card is lost, stolen or used without your authorization.

Precautions:

Shopping on the Internet is no less safe than shopping in a store or by mail. Keep the following tips in mind to help ensure that your online shopping experience is a safe one.

•Use a secure browser - software that encrypts or scrambles the purchase information you send over the Internet - to help guard the security of your information as it is transmitted to a website. When submitting your purchase information, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar, and the phrase "https" in the URL address for a website, to be sure your information is secure during transmission.

•Check the site's privacy policy, before you provide any personal financial information to a website. In particular, determine how the information will be used or shared with others. Also check the site's statements about the security provided for your information. Some websites' disclosures are easier to find than others - look at the bottom of the home page, on order forms or in the "About" or "FAQs" section of a site. If you're not comfortable with the policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

•Read and understand the refund and shipping policies of a website you visit, before you make your purchase. Look closely at disclosures about the website's refund and shipping policies. Again, search through the website for these disclosures.

•Keep your personal information private. Don't disclose your personal information - your address, telephone number, bank account number or e-mail address - unless you know who's collecting the information, why they're collecting it and how they'll use it.

•Give payment information only to businesses you know and trust, and only when and where it is appropriate - like an order form. Never give your password to anyone online, even your Internet service provider.

•Keep records of your online transactions and check your e-mail for contacts by merchants with whom you're doing business. Merchants may send you important information about your purchases.

•Review your monthly credit card and bank statements for any errors or unauthorized purchases promptly and thoroughly. Notify your credit or debit card issuer immediately if your credit or debit card is lost or stolen, or if you suspect someone is using your accounts without your permission.

A couple of notes about this article...

A secure browser does provide a measure of safety while your information is being transmitted to the store or business you are dealing with's Computer. To be more specific your information is transmitted to the server of the business you are dealing with which is where it is really most vulnerable until it is removed from the server.


The little "lock" can be obtained by just about anyone that wants one and pays for one and again this only provides some security while your information is being transmitted between computers which is the shortest amount of time that your information is vulnerable and the least likely time that your information can or would be stolen or misused.


A couple of other things to consider when deciding whether or not to make your online purchase...

How long has the Business/Website been around? and... How has it changed over time?

There are sites like http://www.archive.org/ that can show (though not always accurate) how long a website has been online and how it has changed over time.

If the Website has been online for a while and looks like someone has put time and effort into it, You are most likely looking at a legitimate business rather than a rip-off. On the other hand if the site has not been around very long or has radical changes in themes or content then you want to proceed with caution.

In the end, Be it a Mom & Pop website, eBay or the Gas Station on the corner, it is a judgement call about trust that the buyer must make before the give out their personal or Credit Card information. But as an online merchant I have had the opportunity to see just how most of the "secure online ordering" options work and now more than ever when I shop online I phone my order in.




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