How to shop online safely?

Fortunately, today you can place an order with confidence at many online stores. But how do you know if an online store is reliable? Check out our checklist to help you online ship safely.

Security starts with your own computer

Update your computer’s operating system with the latest updates. Also, update your web browser to the latest version to ensure proper security.

Choose a strong password

Many online stores require you to create an account when you place your first order and choose a password yourself. You should always use a unique, strong password and not a password that you also use for other services, such as your email account.

Use a secure WiFi connection

When buying online, avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi connections, such as in an internet cafe or another shared computer. You never know whether such a computer is properly secured.

Responsibilities of online stores

Online stores must also adhere to a number of general rules. The seller generally must provide you with information about the ordering process, the characteristics of the product or service, the warranty and other matters. As a consumer, you always have 14 days to change your mind when buying online. This period starts on the day after you receive the product or after you have closed the service.
There are also rules for the delivery of a product. If online stores violate the rules, you can cancel the purchase and file a complaint.

Beware of fake online stores

Sometimes data is stolen from existing online stores in order to build a fake store that looks reliable at first glance.

Quality marks and a secure connection

If you want to complete the payment online in an online store, you should make sure that the web address in the browser bar must start with ‘https: //’. In that case, the internet connection is secured and protected from unauthorized persons.
Unfortunately, a secure connection does not always mean that you are dealing with a reliable online store.

Search for reviews

Do you want to check the reliability of an online store? You can search for reviews from other consumers with the store and search for complaints on sites like Better Business Bureau and others.

Pay securely online

There are many different methods to pay online. The methods vary in operation and each has its own risks, or an extra ‘safety net’ in case things go wrong. If you pay with PayPal, you have purchase protection. For example, you will get your money back if you do not receive the goods. And if you choose Afterpay or another way of paying afterward, you only pay when you have received the order.

If you do not know or trust the store, never pay in advance using your credit or debit card. If you are dealing with a fake online store, you will not get the money back.

Print the payment page

When in doubt, take a screenshot of the payment page and check the payment using internet banking, mobile banking or bank statements. If the payment is not in order, please contact the online store immediately. Sometimes you can also get your money back via the bank (reverse direct debit), credit card company (chargeback scheme) or purchase protection (PayPal).

Is the product suitable for purchase online?

Not all products are suitable for purchase online. For example, it is better to go to a real store for a car seat. Only when you are completely sure, for example by trying out a seat from friends, can you purchase it online.

Online purchase return

Are you dissatisfied with your online purchase? Returning is always an option, provided you follow the rules for returning an online purchase. Make sure that the online store adheres to the rules for returning a product. Online stores often charge costs or do not pay you back the full amount even though it is illegal.

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.