In addition to practicing basic internet safety, most of us should know how to identify whether a website is safe to buy from or not. Identity fraud is still ongoing and many people fall for the fake websites and scams. Fake online shopping sites, which collect your card details, are one of the ways scammers can steal your identity online.
Below are some tips you can do to know if an online shopping site is legit and secure, so you can enjoy your online shopping without hassle:
Check the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
SSL is a security protocol encrypting the channel of information between the website and the client, moving quickly the credit card details. In this way, hackers would not be able to intercept the data you are sending to the online shopping site. If there is an SSL, you can see an icon of a closed padlock or an unbroken key on the left-hand side of the address bar. One indication that there is something wrong with SSL is when the padlock icon is open or the key appears to be broken; this is a warning sign before putting your details to the website.
Look for the registered address and phone number
One indication the your online shopping is going legit is if the site has registered address and a phone number that is readily and easily to call. If there are no contact details, it will be a concern for you.
Evaluate the return policy
Reputable and legitimate sites should list their return policy and their shipping policy so to be clear with all the clients. If these policies are not on their site, it is best that you do not purchase from them.
Assess the website’s privacy statement
All big major and legit online retailers must have a legal privacy statement on their site, stating how they protect the information you give them about yourself such as credit card and other personal details. You would also know whether they sell that information on to other companies or not. If there is privacy statement, shoot them a message to find out more about how they handle and protect your information.
Read reviews from other users/buyers
If one of your friends or someone you know already used the site to shop and had a good experience, it should be a good sign. You can also read some reviews outside the website itself; just find them from established reviewers on independent review sites to find out more. Remember to be cautious as well with review website because they can be faked as well. Always read from reliable review sites.
Look out for the trusted payment gateway
Many of major online retailers and small online businesses as well are using payment portal such as PayPal and WorldPay to perform their online transactions for them. You can enter your card details securely if you are directed to a trusted payment site
Be aware of asking for unnecessary information
If the online shopping site is asking for your social security number, social media accounts, or other sensitive information, then you should be alert by this time. Usually, legit online retail shops will only ask for your name, email, phone number, billing/shipping address, and some payment information upon checkout of the items.