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How to safely shop online to avoid scams and fraud?

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Online shopping is one of the most common ways of buying things that you need or love. The comfort and convenience of online shopping can surpass traditional outdoor shopping. Who wouldn't love to lay back on a couch, browse through various options, quickly place an order, and get the order to the doorstep? Saves a lot of time and effort. Isn't it?

Online shopping brings plenty of advantages. Alongside the advantages also come the downside. In this case, many scammers and fraudsters are looking out to steal from you while you indulge in online shopping. It is always better to be careful while shopping online. Falling prey to online scammers and fraudsters can have dangerous consequences.

Below are a few tips for safe online shopping -

1. Verify the too good to be true deals

Putting an ad on Instagram or Facebook is not a difficult task. You may find hundreds of ads pertaining to your interests every single day. Your attention will surely stick to the one with amazing deals. It is natural for anyone to feel the need to shop immediately after seeing a great discount or a deal.

If you find anything that grabs your attention with unrealistic deals, pause for a moment. If you act in haste, you may end up giving out a lot of your information to the prying scammers. Once you pause, take a few minutes to go to Google and research on the selling platform. You will surely understand whether it is a good idea to proceed with the shopping or not.

Taking a few minutes to research can stop you from being a victim of online shopping scams. All your money, banking, and personal information will be saved from reaching out to the wrong people.

2. Set strong passwords

Setting strong passwords can secure your information online. Some online fraudsters are seasoned hackers who can get into your other accounts easily. Getting to know one password can become a key to opening other accounts where you store private and important information. Follow some of the best practices mentioned below to set up your password and save yourself from online scams.

  • Use a mix of characters like uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers
  • Avoid easy guessing passwords like your birthday, your pet's name, your child's date of birth, or similar information
  • Never have the same password across multiple accounts.
  • Frequently change your passwords to ensure maximum security to your important accounts

3. Use a credit card instead of a debit card for security

Credit cards have increased security when compared to debit cards. It is because the credit cards are not directly linked to your bank account. Upon that any fraudulent activities are strictly monitored and you can get a call from a credit card company. In the case of debit cards, if at all your information is leaked, it may lead to someone else having total control over your bank account.

4. Do not use private information on public Wi-Fi

At times, you may feel like working from a cafe or at Starbucks sipping a cup of coffee. It may be relaxing and suddenly you want to order something online. You may start to type all your card information or other personal information. You may not realize but sometimes there can be a hacker who can be just behind taking note of all your information. It may be too late by the time you know if your accounts are hacked. You can totally avoid this and stick to not using public Wifi where your private information is involved.

5. Take online security measures

While you are about to go online shopping on a new website or trying to shop from public wifi, you can always follow a couple of measures -

  • Always check for the lock symbol in the URL browser bar. This symbol indicates that the connection between your web browser and the webserver is secure and encrypted.
  • You should also verify the security by checking whether the URL starts with HTTPS or HTTP. HTTPS is an advanced and secured version of HTTP that provides encrypted and secure identification of a network server.
  • If you are someone frequently using public Wifi, you can secure your transactions with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts the information passing between your system and the server. This is the only way to stay protected while using public Wifi.

6. Shop from the reputed online retailers

The most convenient way to avoid any online fraud is to shop from reputed online retailers. E-commerce giants like Amazon and e-Bay sell almost everything. They also have great policies in place if you go through any scams or fraud. Their payment gateways are highly secure and encrypted so you are unlikely to have troubles with your information.

Above, we gave you helpful tips to be careful while you are shopping online. While most of the time online shopping goes smoothly, these days there are complaints about package theft in NYC and missed deliveries. This happens when your Amazon delivery status shows as “delivered” and you can't seem to find your package.

How can you avoid Amazon missing packages?

The cases of Amazon missing packages are not uncommon. Package theft and missed deliveries are coming as a new challenge after the pandemic when online shopping boomed. You can totally avoid Amazon missing packages or stolen packages by availing package storage and package receiving services offered by Stowfly.

Stowfly is a chain of trusted shops and stores near you. You can visit the Stowfly website to book a location near you. This location acts as your secondary address for receiving your Amazon packages while you are away. After receiving your packages, they are safely taken care of until you come back to pick them up.

The Stowfly package storage and receiving services are a great way to secure your packages from porch pirates. You spend as little as $4 per package or $15 for unlimited packages per month. Your Amazon packages can never get stolen or lost and reach you safely without any hassle.