Black Friday & Cyber Monday are arguably the biggest shopping days in America. The convenience and multitude of retailers make the Internet a better place for consumers to shop. However, there is a lot of vulnerability that a consumer may face. Shopping smart online is easy if you follow a few key steps.
Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
As the holiday season approaches, we thought consumers could benefit from some tips for shopping smart online. Online shopping in 2018 will account for 11% of total retail sales, up from 8% in 2013, according to a new Forrester Research Report. Making smart choices while shopping online ensures that your risk of identity theft is minimized.
Steps to Shopping Smart Online
Before you sit down to indulge in your online shopping spree, consider the following:
- Try to make your purchases with a single credit card with a lower credit limit. This way it will force you to stick with your budget, reduce spontaneous purchases and, if any problem/fraud occurs, it will be easier for you to track.
- Don’t jump into the first thing you see online. Shopping smart online means spending some time reading reviews and considering options. This way you can get the best value for your money.
- Search for promotional codes and online coupons. Don’t forget to search on discount sites such as Groupon for the items you pick. There may be hidden discounts that you can benefit from.
- Don’t forget to include the shipping costs in your budget estimates. Try to eliminate shipping costs by subscribing to Amazon Prime trials & sticking to shopping minimums to earn free shopping.
- Make sure you are aware of the return & cancellation policies of the goods you buy. If the things you purchase are not up to your expectations, you need to have the flexibility to send them back without additional costs.
Online Shopping Security
While you shop online you will enter a variety of personal & banking information on various websites. So make sure you:
- Buy from a reputable source. Don’t make any purchase from a website that does not have a secure payment system. The Web site URL address should change from “http” to “https,” or have a padlock icon indicating that the purchase is secured.
- Avoid shopping online on open wireless networks. Entering personal financial information over an unsecured connection may leave your computer open to thieves waiting to capture your financial information. Home Wi-Fi networks can also be compromised.
- Secure your computer before shopping online with appropriate anti-virus & anti-spyware programs and keep them up to date.
Shopping smart online this holiday season can mean your budget and identity will be safe. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!