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Is Online Shopping Really Safe?

There are all kinds of opportunities to shop online. You can buy just about anything online that you could buy in person. You’ll also often find things available online that you would have a very difficult time finding in your local area.
What most people worry about, however, is security. Is it really all that safe to shop online?
The answer is that it depends. Is the company reputable? Are they using a secure connection?
If you’re going to shop online, you need to know that you can trust the company with your information. However, finding out who to trust, aside from the big names, isn’t always easy.
When in doubt, do a little research before buying. Check the BBB website, check RipoffReport.com. These are two places that people are likely to complain to if there is a problem. You can also search the company name with the word “scam” to see if any reports come up that way. A general search on the company’s name can also bring up people’s experiences.
Always make certain that you are on a secure connection before putting your credit card number in. A secure connection is easy to spot; just check the bottom corner for a padlock icon that is locked. This should indicate a secure connection.
I also like to check a site’s contact information. An email address is a minimum; better is a phone number and physical location. This gives you an idea as to where they are located in case of a problem. A reputable site should also have a good privacy policy, telling you what they will and will not do with your information.
You can also check with your credit card company about how to use virtual credit card numbers. Some companies offer these, and they are a number generated just for use online. They have no connection to your real number.
There are a variety of ways you can pay for merchandise online. You have probably heard of PayPal, which some people don’t particularly like, but does have the advantage of being a reputable company, and you no longer need to create an account to use them. They don’t share your credit card information with sellers, so you don’t have to worry about that part.
Despite many people’s fears, online shopping is not the main way that credit card numbers are stolen. You’re more likely to have your information stolen in the real world than online... unless you fall for a phishing email. While that is not the topic of this article, I will simply note that if any email tells you that you need to log into your account, don’t click any links in the email. Use your bookmarks or type in the address as you know it. If it’s legit, the message will be on your account too.
Online shopping can be a real pleasure. While there are potential scams and problems, you can shop relatively safely if you know the rules. I’ve had great experiences shopping online, both in terms of selection and prices.

About The Author
Stephanie Foster runs www.comeonecomemall.com/ - a shopping resource for all kinds of products. Come shop my selection of reputable stores for some great online finds.