The trend of shopping online is on an upswing, as evidenced by the popularity of Cyber Monday. A survey from BIGresearch done for Shop.org showed that there were 11.5 million more Americans, who planned to go online to shop during Cyber Monday compared to last year.
While consumers are thrilled at the convenience that shopping online brings to them, they should also be aware of the risks involved. According to Sterling Cain, a lawyer and computer expert from Aspect Technologies, Inc. of Denver, "You don't want to be a victim of identity theft because of a 10 dollar deal on a TV."
There are several measures that online shoppers can take to make sure that they do not become victims of online fraud. First, it is imperative that they install an antivirus on their computers. A lot of viruses install themselves into a computer system to steal information from online shoppers through several means such as reading the keys that they press on the keyboard covertly. Online shoppers should also always keep their antivirus software updated so that it can deal with the latest threats.
When online shopping, consumers should remember that using credit cards is much preferable than using debit cards. In terms of protection, credit cards have debit cards beat.
Cain said, "When you use a credit card online to make a purchase and it turns out you got the wrong goods or your identity has been stolen, generally the most you can be liable for is 50 dollars."
Online technologies have also devised ways to clue in online shoppers whether they are using a secure and legitimate website or not. For instance, online shoppers can see from their web browser's address bar whether the site they are visiting is secure or not just by checking if the letters in front of the website address spells "https." Regular websites only have "http" at the front of their address. The additional "s" means that the site is secured.
Fake websites are also another thing that online shoppers should be aware of. A lot of scammers put up websites that look like the original websites and have names similar to them. They are hoping to lure potential online shoppers to their site so that, when the shopper makes the mistake of trying to make a purchase from them, they can collect the credit information of the user. Generally, online shoppers should be very careful whenever a site asks for their personal and credit information. They should first verify that the site is actually legitimate and is secure.