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13 Oct
  • Editorial Team
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The holiday season is finally upon us and it is time to dust those corners, discard the old and bring the new. With the festive seasons arrival, it is time to indulge in some shopping! The discounts are massive and the choices vast. In a country like ours where gifting is a tradition, the ability to conduct festive shopping online is probably one of the nicest gifts of the 21st century.

Online shopping, however, comes with its risks. While you are safe in the knowledge that you can no longer forget your wallet or card anywhere, online shopping has its own set of issues. With a surge in the use of electric money, fraudsters have developed new and innovative ways to scam people. Phishing scams are one of the most common methods of stealing money online. Most websites also use cookies to gather user data for every minute that you spend on their website, thereby leading to heightened threat of data leaks.

Tips to Stay Safe Online:

  1. Shop from websites which have a security certificates and/or signatures

Do not ever buy things using a credit card from websites that do not feature a little lock at the beginning of their URL. The lock indicates that the site is protected with SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption. These websites will begin with an https:// instead of http://. Encryption is a security measure that helps protect data while travelling over the various networks on the internet.

  1. Avoid shopping on unknown apps and websites

Shop only through trusted companies that have a reputed presence or apps. Shopping with the help of a search engine can lead you to websites that have only a slight difference in their spellings from a leading e-tailers and their amazing offers may lure you to share your bank details. If you know the website well and it has a considerable online presence only then should you shop on it.

  1. Use virtual keyboards over physical keyboards

Irrespective of the payment channel being used while shopping online, entering financial data like passwords, CVV numbers or card numbers must be done through a virtual keyboard. Many hackers use keyboard logging tools to steal passwords and usernames used online.

  1. Use an updated anti-virus

The internet is rife with malware, spyware and spam. It is crucial to use an updated anti-virus software in order to protect from cyber-attacks and compromised security. The most commonly hacked software are web mail clients and web browsers. Make sure your apps are always updated to ensure maximum protection.

  1. Avoid public computers & Wi-Fi

Using a public Wi-Fi for shopping online is a grave mistake. Public networks are open for all and therefore, it is easy to access data and information. Using personal gadgets like phones or computers for undertaking financial transactions ensures greater security since they are password and encryption protected.

  1. Buy from reputed sellers / merchants

Buying from known and reputed sellers/ merchants has a lot of advantages with handling packages, quick delivery and quick returns. Always look for contact numbers and addresses before shopping with lesser known merchants.

There are several advantages of being careful while shopping online. Hence it's important that you do not disregard the above pointers. Small measures can go a long way in keeping your assets safe.

Benefits of staying safe

a.  Save money

Maintaining safety while shopping online helps avoid phishing scams. It also safeguards against undisclosed charges like shipping costs, taxes, delivery charges, tracking and insurance etc.

b.  Receive only genuine goods

Reputed websites usually check products for originality. In today's market scenario, it is easy to get straddled with fake items that look exactly like the original. Shopping from reputed e-tailers ensures that you receive only genuine goods. Remember, if the pricing is too good to be true, it might be a fake. Ask questions, look for reviews and do not make a purchase until you are convinced.

c.  Safety from identity theft

Identity theft and fraud are terms used to describe all kinds of activities that are undertaken to wrongfully obtain someone's data and use it to their personal advantage, mostly monetary. Being careful while shopping online, checking your financial information regularly for unaccounted spending and careful mapping of your financial statements can help safeguard your interests.

 

Online shopping is still in its early stages in India, and with a rapidly increasing user base. Leading online e-commerce websites have reported up to 200% jump in overall users. Online shopping is still new for many of us, but it holds immense promise in the coming years as industries and consumers steadily shift online. In a country like India, whose online safety framework is still relatively new it is better to be safe than sorry. This festive season, be careful and stay safe while shopping online.

Did You Know

Disbursement

The act of paying out money for any kind of transaction is known as disbursement. From a lending perspective this usual implies the transfer of the loan amount to the borrower. It may cover paying to operate a business, dividend payments, cash outflow etc. So if disbursements are more than revenues, then cash flow of an entity is negative, and may indicate possible insolvency.

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