If there is One spot for everything on the earth, that would be only the Internet where you can get everything that we need just by few clicks. So if somebody asks us, what’s Internet? Or what can we get from Internet? We can just define it by saying “You name it; Internet has it, either its bad or good”. As it’s the source for both “good” and “bad”, we need to tackle the things in a right way, to lead hassle free journey across the world of Internet.
Now our subject is “Shop online with confidence!”
This article educates you safe online practices while letting you aware of different threats that are responsible for online scams while providing you with the preventive remedies and tips! In this objective, we’ll let you pull all the roots off the ground to eliminate all the possibilities that can make one a victim of online scam.
These tips add an extra protection to your credit card purchases/transactions you make online! People think at least once, before typing their credit card number and 3 digit CVV (card verification value) pin, located other side of their credit card, as they have security reasons to think before going ahead.
So to shop online with confidence, you will need to take care and know few things.
TIP: Best seller or supplier
Please do little research on the Supplier or seller to know his business practices by reading the reviews, going through the forums and by joining the discussions online, to choose a best seller or supplier. Once you have chosen couple of them, always keep them as your source for online purchases while monitoring the updates of co-customer’s recent experiences with those shopping sites, so as to know the sellers / suppliers current business practices. And also keep updated yourself if there are any more sites as best as the ones you have already chosen.
By choosing the trust worthy seller/supplier, you’ve done part of its job.
Prerequisite: Site’s security level
Seller’s site security level plays main role in protecting their customer’s sensitive information from leaking out. To protect your information, a site must have an ssl certificate.
Any site that is SSL certified takes the utmost care to protect their customer details from leaking out, by using encryption Technologies.
You can double check a sites security level by seeing your browsers address bar. Your Browsers address bar completely turns to “Greenish” and you will see “HTTPS” instead of regular “HTTP” and a closed lock symbol somewhere within the browsers address bar region, when you are at buying region of that site. This indicates us, we are at secure region or established a secure connection and the site is SSL certified!
So now, what’s an SSL certificate?
“SSL Certificates” are the ones issued to URL’s or the Websites, after being purchased one by the website owner, to establish the secure connections. Websites with SSL certificates encrypts the sensitive information you input, before it’s been sent to destination server to process the billing or purchases. And SSL certificates comes as versions depending on their level of encryption, like 128 bit industry standard to 256bit high graded.
You may only see this at buying regions of a site, where actually you’ll be entering your personal details or sensitive information to process your purchases. Which means you may not see this indication at other parts of the site or you may not see this indication in your browser address bar on the very first page of www.example.com (e-commerce, payment gateway, shopping sites etc).
That was all about online security.
Offline Care and Security:
There is little more additional care you should take from your end.
- Use internet security versions of anti-virus on your PC rather than the regular anti-virus. Internet security versions of anti-virus protect your sensitive information by blocking incoming and outgoing suspicious activities.
- Always update your anti-virus database to make it capable of detecting the very recent threats.
- Perform regular Anti-virus Scans.
- Prefer to use “Virtual Keyboard”, if your anti-virus is equipped with this feature. Virtual Keyboard encrypts your keystrokes entered by using it, to protect your sensitive information from being stolen/stored/recorded by “key loggers”, if there are any key loggers installed on your PC with or without your permission.
- Prefer to use Anti-virus firewall instead of using the default one.
And now that, what’s a “key logger”?
Key logger: Key logger is an application or piece of software that records the keystrokes and sends that recorded information to the scammers, criminals, hackers and whoever is trying to monitor your keyboard activity without your permission. And it’s not necessarily used by Criminals. Key-loggers can also be used by companies to keep an eye on their employees and by parents to monitor their children activity on Internet!
- Choose the best seller/supplier.
- Double check the Sites security level by viewing the SSl certificate indication in your browsers address bar.
- Use internet security version of anti-virus.
- Update your anti-virus regularly to make it capable of detecting the very latest threats online.
- Perform Regular anti-virus Scans after updating your anti-virus.
- Try to use “Virtual Keyboard” of your anti-virus if it has that feature, as Virtual Keyboard’s are developed to encrypt the keystrokes to protect your sensitive information from being stolen by key loggers or spy-wares.
- Use anti-virus firewall instead of using the Operating Systems default!
Few “FAQ’s” you need to see before they strike your mind:
What if a Seller/reseller doesn’t have an SSl certificate to his site?
- For you to shop online with Confidence! You can still go ahead with your purchase using their secure payment gateways like “PayPal” and etc gateways which are SSL certified and that are availed to you by the Seller / supplier on their site! When paying through payment gateways like PayPal, Google checkout you will be redirected to PayPal, Google checkout or other payment gateways page, and that is where you’ll be finishing your secure transactions for your purchases.
- PayPal is a Service or a payment gateway which allows us to sign up for free! And basically PayPal takes our personal data like Name, Address etc as part of person’s identification. And finally we need to provide our credit card details like credit cards no., CVV number located other side of the credit card and date till it’s valid to link the credit card with PayPal payment gateway for current and future purchases. Once you’ve registered with PayPal, you are all set and ready to go! And you can from now on shop online with any trusted site with PayPal as a payment gateway. And choosing a payment gateway like PayPal, Google checkout is a best option if you prefer not to enter your credit card’s information always in every site, every time you shop! It’s cool! Isn’t it!
It’s now over!
But don’t leave! You got to know something else if you haven’t heard it before or knew it before. It’s about a Interesting part of PayPal or other payment gateways!
Once you have setup your account with PayPal or any other payment gateways, even you are allowed to sell your items using its payment gateway by generating “buy now” buttons code and by placing the generated code on your blogger blog / blog / website etc!