Instead of standing in endless queues or trying to navigate your shopping cart through a busy grocery store, imagine clicking a button and a few hours later, your groceries are sitting on your door step.
This is no longer a pipedream, but rather a reality.
More and more shops are realising that people do not have the time or energy to wade through the shops, and as a result, retail outlets are moving their shop online.
However, there is a risk when shopping online, with hackers looking for ways to steal your money and personal information.
Therefore, you need to always be on the lookout and be protect yourself when on the internet.
Here are six online shopping safety tips you need to follow:
Use familiar websites: The first step to shopping safely online is to start with the website. Ensure that you shop on familiar websites, such as amazon.com and steer clear of companies that you have never seen or heard of.
Furthermore, be aware of spelling mistakes or websites that use a different domain name, for instance .net and not .com. Yes the sales prices might look fantastic, but you could end up losing that money.
Look for the S: Never use your credit card, enter personal information or shop on websites that do not have the SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption code installed. This encryption code is easy to pick up, so you do not have to worry about being tech-savvy.
All you need to do is look out for at the address box, ensure that it starts with HTTPS:// (instead of HTTP://). Furthermore, an icon with a padlock will appear in the address bar or the bottom tool bar, this will give you assurance that this website is safe to use.
Pick a difficult password: This has been said before, but it is vitally important to safe online purchasing. Do not use a simply password or any variation of your name/username.
Ensure that you have a strong password. A strong password includes capital and small letters, numbers and symbols. Remember, if you use the site regularly; consider clearing your search records and changing your password on a regular basis.
Avoid public computers: There are two things to consider when using a public computer, anyone could gain access to the computer and someone might be looking over your shoulder.
Try to avoid public computers or using your computer in public spaces. This will help eliminate the possibility of someone hacking your account or watching your transactions.
Know what is too good to be true: Before making a purchase online, shop around and fine out what other retail outlets are selling the product for.
If this website is offering 70% less, be sure to first check if the website and company is real. Look for contact information and phone the company or look at comments left by people on the website.
Never download software: When shopping online, ensure that you do not download any software during the purchase. Making online purchases does not require a download and this program is more often than not a virus.
Protect your computer by having the latest virus protection software on your computer and run scans on a regular basis.
Shopping online is easy, fast and will free you up to do more important things. Ensure that you shop safely by following these six online safety tips. Remember, always do a background on the website and be on the lookout for potential threats.
I am Greg Jones, an online shopper and avid sportsman. I recently bought new automatic washing machines for my office and home. These online purchases allowed me to continue my day and not have to waste time running around from shop to shop comparing prices and technical specifications.