Dos And Don’ts Of Online Shopping

By on Feb 27, 2012

Let me begin with a confession. I am addicted to shopping. Nothing lifts off those blues faster than a purchasing spree across several of my favourite stores. And not only for myself or my family- I am happy to accompany others too on their shopping spree; like for my cousin’s trousseau, my sister’s kid’s birthday return gifts or New year’s gifts for my friend’s business associates. I am equally happy shopping for school uniforms and groceries, decorative items and linens. Shopping is cathartic for me.

But the mad traffic and the even madder crowds at the shops often act as deterrents. At such times, online shopping is a heaven-sent opportunity to shop from the safety and comfort of your homes. Another plus point is that you don’t have to lug around heavy packages, nor have to pack and parcel gifts to friends! You simply ask them to deliver the packages to the address of your choice!

For shopophoebics (there is no term for fear of shopping) like my husband, online shopping is a boon! Our preferred sellers send him birthday and anniversary reminders and he just selects and pays for what he wants to gift me that year. And voila! You have the Husband of the Year- the pride of my life, the envy of my friends.

However, as Cybermum India, I can’t but add a word of caution. You should be extra cautious while doing online transactions because:

  • You don’t know the seller personally
  • You can’t verify the address, phone number, sales figures
  • You can’t physically check the goods
  • You are unsure of the site’s security policies and ethics

But it definitely does not mean you keep away from online shopping. It just means be careful. Do a background check of the seller you select. Start with the site address. Check whether it looks authentic and begins with https//. Another check is to see if the site is encrypted, with a lock sign on top right.

It is recommended that you read  buyer reviews. You should also find out whether they have any return or refund policies. Most importantly, you need to investigate payment modes-do they have a safe Visa Secure or Paypal payment mode? It is preferable to select credit cards or “Cash-on-delivery” modes of payments. Check for address and contact nos. If possible, call up their customer service and discuss their sales, delivery, and refund policies, when placing orders for the first time. Upon delivery, check the items minutely. Check your credit card statements. Keep printed records of all transactions.

McAfee lists some Do’s and Don’ts of Online Shopping

Do’s : 

• Do your homework, research web sites

• Do pay by credit card or online payment services

• Do buy from a web site that has encryption

• Don’t buy from a web site unless it is certified for safety

• Do check the web site’s policies before you order.

• Do use comprehensive computer security software

• Don’t forget to inspect your new purchase as soon as it arrives

• Do check your credit card statements

Don’ts : 

• Don’t buy from spammers

• Don’t pay by debit card, cash, or wire transfer

• Don’t buy from a web site unless it is certified for safety

• Don’t buy from a site with which you aren’t totally comfortable

• Don’t forget to inspect your new purchase as soon as it arrives

• Don’t let children buy games, gifts online without any adult supervision

For additional information, check this site

About the Author

Cybermum India

Anindita Mishra is McAfee’s Cybermum in India. A Pune-based freelance writer, teacher and devoted mother of two- Anindita has always been a vocal advocate for issues tied to children's welfare and development. Like many Indian parents, Anindita wants to make sure that her children are safe wherever they go, in the real or virtual world. ...

Read more posts from Cybermum India

Categories: Family Safety
Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to McAfee Securing Tomorrow Blogs