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11.10.2018 Career & Money

Staying Safe for Online Shopping

By News Desk
Stay safe.Stay safe.
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(Nope, it's not the warning that you think it is.)

You see, the reminder to stay safe is hardly limited to talks of sexuality and pregnancy. In an age that runs on internet speed and Wireless Fidelity, it's not surprising how connectivity is not just a strength. In more ways than one, connectivity has also become a weakness.

What is meant by this? If you think about it, because of the injunction to stay connected, you have also become forced to give up the security and privacy of your own information. All of a sudden, you're being asked for your address, your credit card, your face, and this does not just apply to your social media accounts.

It applies to online shopping, too. Yep, that wonderful invention of capitalists that has managed to make your shopping life easier also has the tendency to put your security at risk, especially when you're not careful. When you don't give a second thought to where you shop and how you shop, then you're easy prey for phishing and identity theft.

Don't worry, though: here are some all-important tips on how you can take extra care of yourself while you shop online (and still get to enjoy yourself while you're at it).

Tip #1: It's all about trust. Remember how your mom always told you to only go with people you know, because then it'd be easier to trust them? The same principle applies to online shopping. Only go for the shops that already sound familiar, shops that have already established clear names for themselves in the industry. If it's the first time you're hearing about the shop and there are absolutely zero reviews to back them up, then by all means, do avoid it. Don't worry, you can always get those Africa shops discount somewhere else.

Tip #2: If the price hits rock-bottom, it may not be good for you. “But why? It is a discount, isn't it?” Sure, anyone would love a good discount. No one's going to disagree with you on that. But remember this, sweetie. No thinking business person is going to sink that low in terms of prices, unless there's something fishy behind it. There's always a reason why the product doesn't sell. There's always a reason why the low price has to be the reason for people to buy it. Don't be so quick to go for rock-bottom prices, because the quality just might hit rock-bottom, too.

Tip #3: Avoid online shopping through public WiFi networks. Some people have gotten so addicted to shopping online that whenever they get the urge to buy an item, and they happen to be in a WiFi zone, they connect to the public network and proceed to do their shopping. While no one's discrediting every possible public network, there's still no reason to get careless, either. You see, IT experts with bad intentions just might be lurking around the corner, ready to pounce at whatever information you unwittingly provide via the public WiFi. So yeah, you can still choose to see the good in everyone you meet, but when it comes to shopping through public WiFi, always keep your own interests first: don't do it.

Tip #4: Keep track of the details. What does a good hunter do when he or she tries to spot if an animal has been in that part of the forest? The hunter always pays attention to the tracks that have been left behind. The same must be done by the responsible online shopper. Always pay attention to the tracks: keep receipts, take note of tracking numbers, remember the estimated date of arrival. That way, you have more leverage to hold the merchant responsible in case they don't deliver the promised results. At the same time, you also get to keep track of your purchases and discounts (check if the discount code of Asos was applied, for instance).

Tip #5: Know the proper steps to take in case you don't get your items. For those who are new to online shopping, this might come across as a shock and the first time might seem to be traumatizing. Needless to say, it is quite terrible to order something online, only to find out that nothing has been delivered to your doorstep after weeks and weeks of waiting. Still, you must not choose to simply mope and be bitter about it. Instead, before you purchase anything, be sure that you've also taken note of the proactive solutions that you can take, if ever you don't get what you ordered.

Conclusion WIthout a doubt, online shopping is truly one great gift to humankind. Who would have thought that a day would come that you would do your groceries from the comforts of your own home? Still, online shopping will only be the gift that it is if you take the necessary precautions. Only then will you get to enjoy it to its fullest extent.