Online shopping is a really big deal nowadays! Everyone in India is turning towards e-commerce websites to purchase their favorite products and secure massive deals in order to gain price cuts and discounts. However, this massive boost in online sales has also caught the attention of nasty cybercriminals who try to exploit individuals by tricking them into falling prey for scams and e-commerce fraudulent websites.
To make you safe, we have compiled a nifty list of some sure shot online shopping security tips and tricks you need to apply before making an e-purchase. The issues mentioned below have been encountered by me which is why I am a very informed buyer now. The mistakes made me learn, but I don’t want you to fall prey to any kind of scam whatsoever, god forbid!
Here are 5 solid tips you should follow in order to be safe and carefree while shopping online:
Always use reputed websites
Stick with trusted websites like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, etc. since these are large brands who adhere to customer service norms and there are fewer chances for you to be scammed here. Not only do these services offer buyer protection, product insurance during transit, they also make less fuss when you wish to return a product.
In terms of cybersecurity, these companies have in place robust security measures to protect your card details, personal information and purchase history in comparison to fraudster-made fake yet professional-looking websites that collect data about you and then finally scam you later.
When buying from a non-branded seller, check out their storefront
Most e-commerce websites now allow anyone to become a seller on their website. However, while purchasing from these sources (especially pre-paid orders), it is imperative to check out their storefront (Seller details) in order to see the kind of discounts and product ranges they offer. If all the products are offering really steep discounts or if the seller has really negative feedback from previous customers, steer clear of such a seller to avoid the hassle of receiving a fake/duplicate or end-of-life product. Yes, I have fallen prey to such a scam which is why I am here to warn you!
Opt-for credit card payment if you really want to buy prepaid
Although it is best to opt for doorstep payment (Cash on Delivery or doorstep Card Swipe), it is advisable to use credit cards instead of debit cards. Credit cards generally offer consumers greater protection in comparison to credit cards in various ways. They are not linked to whatever monetary funds you actually own, and they generally have a limit on the monetary amount you can spend in a certain timeframe.
You can also other secure payment services like e-wallets which act a middleman for the purchase receipt. Not only does this service offer you lightning fast payment (UPI) because you don’t have to key-in any confidential information, it is also highly secure. Please remember that if you wish to return a product purchased in-full or in-part via e-wallet, e-wallet companies have a slow turnaround time when it comes to refunding your money back.
Always look out for ‘https’ URL and the padlock symbol for any website you want to access for an online purchase. ‘https’ was developed by Netscape as an online safety protocol that encrypts user information so that all the data entered in that session can be kept private and protected. The‘s’ in https, stands for ‘secure’, which means that the website uses an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and all data coming to and from the webs server is end-to-end encrypted, un-hackable and considered safe to use.
You can check this by observing the text in the URL which should be preceded by a green padlock symbol. If this is missing, treat the website with extreme caution and if you find its claims/offers dubious, avoid purchasing from it altogether!
Review Seller’s ‘Privacy’ and ‘Return’ Policies
Additionally, you should see the Return Policy for catch-phrases and weird replacement offers like Amazon’s Return Policy states – “Trade-in your item for an Amazon.com Gift Card (get an offer immediately, ship your item for free, get an Amazon.com Gift Card).” Why would you want to get a gift card when you want your money back?!
Also, websites like eBay ask the buyer to return the product at their own expense (bear the shipping cost) whereas many websites do this for free, for example, Flipkart. Spotting such catchphrases beforehand will not only save you the drama that most e-commerce companies do later on when you wish to return a product but will also help you look for other websites that do not offer such dubious clauses and make a much-easier return transaction.
We hope you liked this post! Please comment on various hassles and issues you may have faced while e-shopping in India and we would love to write an article based on that!