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Ensuring Safety While Shopping Online

Dec 24, 2007
Most of us must know by now that we can buy almost anything on the internet. Online shopping with its convenience and hassle free process has become the in-thing for consumers and bargain hunters all around the world. The number of shoppers doing online purchasing has said to have rapidly grown and is expanding by the day. A survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that more than 1.3 million Australian internet users have made orders and purchases of a number of products and services through the "world wide web."

However, in spite of the convenience and practicality of online internet shopping, one should always be mindful that there are also certain risks involved. The possibility of you being the victim of fraud may be at a higher degree as compared to your traditional supermarket shopping. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you be cautious and perhaps steer clear of the online hoax and scams.

First thing to do is to check your potential vendor or supplier. Because the internet can be accessed by anyone, it can be said that anyone can also establish shopping shops online. Do not be foolish enough to click on the first vendor that comes up from your search engine results. Do research. Know more about your vendor by checking on their reputation. Lots of supplier websites offer customer feedback and recommendations on their products. It may not give you that much reassurance but it can show you a picture of how the vendor handles his business. It may also be helpful to know about the company's policies and procedures particularly on returns and refunds.

Always remember to read on the fine print for products. Look at the warranties, the term or period for delivery, and fees for shipping and handling. It is important that you know every detail and every charge that you have to pay for your product purchase less you be surprised upon getting an unexpected tall bill. It is good advice that you have a contact person in the company that you can call or email when you have any questions or concerns.

When purchasing items through the internet, it follows that you are sure to make online payments. And that means giving your information online. Again, this is one more reason to check out your supplier and ensure if the company can be trusted. Before disclosing anything, you should be convinced of the reason on why they need it and of the process within which they will be using it. Make sure to check on the Privacy Policy of the website and get assurance from it.

One way to keep information secure in the net is with the use of passwords and personal identification numbers. Keep yours secure by not sharing the information with anyone. And go for complicated password patterns and words. Using simple, expected codes will possibly subject you to frauds. A secure browser is also one step away from cons and scams. There are browsers which can encrypt the information you convey so be wise enough to use one. Lastly, constantly keep a record of your purchases and transactions. It helps that you have evidential support with you in case anything comes up.
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