Things to Know About Website Security
Internet consumer spending has climbed steadily over the past few years. In 2019, more than $65 billion was spent online. People like the ease of buying things without leaving their houses, and they are spending larger amounts all the time. But this also means that the dangers of fraud are becoming greater. The Internet National Fraud Center Watch said that the average victim of fraud lost $2,579 in the first half of 2020. Goods that were not received or were misrepresented accounted for 74% of these losses, through auction purchases and general merchandise purchases.
Although many websites are very serious about security, you should always be cautious when shopping online. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are some tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of Internet fraud.
- Only use one credit card to shop online. One with a low credit limit is best. Avoid the use of ATM or debit cards for online purchases.
- Watch out for fraud that comes via email. Although some of these offers are reputable, the use of email as a means to commit fraud was on
the rise as of 2019.
- Only shop at e-commerce websites who list their phone number and address on their site, so that if you have a problem, you can speak to them
- Take the time to read over the security and privacy information of e-commerce sites. Some sites may give your personal information to third parties. See if they will allow you to ‘opt out’ of any possible offers from third parties.
- Look in the bottom-right corner of your browser for a lock symbol. This tells you the site is secure. If the website address does not start with “https”, the site is generally not secure.
- Only shop at e-commerce sites verified by third parties such as the Better Business Bureau or VeriSign.
- Watch out for a delivery date of more than 7-10 days.
- Print your receipts and keep records of you transactions on file.
- If you never receive what you bought online, and the vendor avoids your attempts to contact them, you can contact the Department of Consumer Affairs for help.
- In general, be cautious of any offers that might be exaggerated. There are a lot of scams and false claims on the web, so you have to keep your eyes open.