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Many people now prefer to shop online because of the benefits that come with the business model. Businesses that previously adopted the brick and mortar approach are also now embracing e-commerce following the global COVID-19 pandemic. However there are many risks associated with this approach to business. When shopping online, it is important to look for reputable traders, vet new sellers, be aware of advertising scams, minimize paying via public networks, and verify site security before making a purchase.
- Look for reputable traders. All commercial activities are based on trust. This fact means that it is vital to engage trustworthy traders when shopping online. Traders that can be trusted are normally known to the buyers since they are popular or recommended by reliable sources. The main aim of using reputable traders is to safeguard the debit/credit card information that can easily be accessed my fraudulent individuals and businesses. Therefore, shoppers should only transact with online traders that they can trust.
- Vet new sellers. Many new ventures are now adopting e-commerce as their business model. Besides, the brick and mortar model means that traders and buyers have to physically interact in order to transact. The global corona-virus pandemic has also made it difficult for such businesses to thrive as before because the social distancing guidelines provided by the World Health Organization. This fact means that many retailers are now trading online. It is better to vet such retailers before buying anything from them since some may be scammers. The best approach to identify legitimate online retailers is to look for business reviews via authorized authorities.
- Be aware of advertising scams. The use of social media advertising has increased all over the globe. Many online retailers are also using the platform to get target and potential customers. However, there are a number of social media advertising scams that buyers should watch out for. Therefore online buyers should compare prices from different retailers of similar products before making the purchase decision. Cheap can end up being very expensive for online buyers because of internet fraud and quality issues.
- Minimize paying via public networks. Public networks have high risk of Cybercrime since they can be accessed by anyone. When using such platforms, it is important to limit the information provided online, such as credit or debit card data. Therefore, using public Wi-Fi is not recommended for online shopping. When one has to use such a network, it is important to protect the information using virtual private network (VPN). Some of the effective tools for this purpose include AVG Internet Security and AVG Ultimate. These platforms ensure that unauthorized users do not access they online buyer’s information. Online buyers should also apply strong passwords that are difficult to crack.
- Verify site security before making a purchase. Online buyers should not make purchases from any site. The buyers can verify retail websites using the secure socket layer (SSL), which is normally at the browser bar. In addition, it is important to minimize over-reliance on email marketing by safeguarding personal data. It is also better to use credit rather than debit cards because they do not access the user’s bank account.
As much as online shopping is easy and convenient, it comes with a number of threats. To avoid such risks, it is important to shop from known traders, vet new sellers, and avoid advertising scams. Online shoppers should also debar transacting via public networks and confirm site security before buying.