I never in a million years thought that I would need to tell people tips for shopping online, it seemed so easy and so much safer than shopping in a store where your purse could get nabbed..I do almost everything online, from class work to shopping to well... this. But then, the unthinkable happened, someone got a hold of my information from a website and suddenly, I needed tips for shopping online so that I wouldn't fall victim again. Now that I'm a little wiser and a little more careful, I have these easy tips that will keep your information safe, the way that it should be.
1. Use Sites That You Know
This is the most important of the tips for shopping online. If there is a website with prices that seem too good to be true, or deals too good to be true, they probably are! Stick to the sites that you've used and know you can trust, like Amazon or big box stores that you know have great return policies and safekeeping procedures for your personal information.
2. Use Prepaid Credit Cards to Shop
At my bank, I am eligible for a prepaid credit card, so, I link a prepaid card to my account so that I can move money over but, money never comes directly out of my account. That means that even if someone gets a hold of my credit card number, there isn't anything on there for them to use. I always keep it at a zero balance and then transfer exactly how much money I need onto it when I have a total for what I'm buying online.
3. Read ALL the Fine Print
I know that life gets really busy sometimes and that reading the Terms and Conditions on a website can sometimes seem like more trouble than it's worth but, reading the fine print can save you a lot of money on a lot of websites. For instance, once I ordered a trial of organic diapers for my son without reading the fine print. What I didn't realize was that by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions I was agreeing to have $85 a month taken out of my bank account as a subscription fee for diapers to be delivered to my door. And, that fee started the day that I signed up! So read the fine print ladies!
4. Use Giftcards
This goes hand in hand with using prepaid credit cards. If you want to shop online and you know where you're going to be shopping and for some reason you can't get a prepaid credit card, use a giftcard. Visa giftcards are pretty universally accepted and once again, if someone gets a hold of that information, it won't actually get them anywhere. That's also a very good way to avoid regular old identity theft.
5. NEVER save Any Information
I know that it's really tempting to click that little box that says save information to keep you from having to type everything in over and over and over again BUT, if you save any of your credit card information on a website NEVER save the password or set your settings to automatically sign you in. If something ever happens to your computer, someone could get your information so easily and really, I think that the two extra minutes you spend signing in is worth it if it keeps someone from wracking up bills in your name.
6. Use Promo Codes
The best way to keep your money safe is to save it. So, whenever you shop online check other websites for promo codes to save you money. I use a site called retailmenot.com that gives you a list of promo codes for a lot of retailers and they also give you a percentage of time that those promos work for!
7. Avoid Using Your Debit Card or Bank Account
Amazon.com and some other online retailers will let you enter in a bank account number to pay for your purchases but if you can avoid it, NEVER use your debit card or bank information. When you do, that money comes directly out of your account so, if someone else gets hold of that information and buys something, you won't know until your money is gone. But, if you do for some reason use a credit card, it's a lot easier to dispute charges without losing any liquid funds!
Well ladies, these are my tips for shopping online in a safer way. How do you shop safely online? What sites do you trust? Let me know down below!