Making Purchases Online Doesn't Always Mean Identity Theft

United States
January 20, 2013 8:08pm CST
I have come across quite a few people over the years who despise internet shopping and deem it as not safe resulting in identity theft and credit card fraud. I do not always believe this to be true as I shop frequently online and I've only had to report one fraudulent charge on my account since I have been shopping online (10+ years). A lot of these people do not shop online because they are not in full understanding of how internet shopping works and what signs of "phishing" to look for on a web browser page, so this is specifically to inform those people. First, you'll want to have the most up-to-date virus definitions available on your computer via your anti-virus protection and also anti-malware and anti-spyware protection which is always available free on sites like www.download.com. Once you have your firewalls and all that good stuff set up, you're going to want to make sure your broswer windows are always protected as well. If you do not have anti-virus protection with that feature, there is one sure fire sign of whether the window you have logged into is secure. Look at the address bar once you login, if there is an "https://" at the beginning of the web address, it means that the website you have access is operating on a remote secure server being protected at all times. Also, look at the bottom of your screen, if there is a padlock there and it is locked with a green arrow, you are also secure. These signs can reassure you that nothing will go wrong as long as you navigate through the webpages on the site like you are supposed to. With that being said, please note that when you are operating on websites that are on secure servers, it is never good to use the back button, always try to navigate using the hyperlinks and options within the website. Also, make sure you exit all login windows once you are finished conducting business and unless you are on a home computer or within a secure environment, do not ever request the computer to remember your login information and do not share it within anyone else. I do not even recommend writing it down for your records, store it within your email as a draft or request the information is emailed to you and create a folder to store all of this information. Remember: this is for those who do not feel that the internet is a secure place to make purchases, online banking, etc. and may and may not make you feel more comfortable. If you are placing an order on a website you are unfamiliar with, be sure to record the date you purchased the item(s), name and contact information of the company including address, phone number, email and business hours, the amount of the item(s) purchased and a confirmation # if one is provided to you. Once you remember these steps and become familiar with the process, I guarantee you will feel better and begin to enjoy the benefits of online shopping such as sites that offer free shipping deals and you never have to leave the privacy of your home to shop or hearing and seeing about items before they hit the shelves at local stores and having dibs on them. Last but not least, I'm sure at least one person can tell you that most things are considerably much cheaper online. I hope these tips help those of you who are not comfortable or do not trust the atmosphere of online shopping. As a reminder, be sure to keep your browsing history, cookies, cache and temporary folder clear to further prevent "phishing". Internet Security grad student advice ;)
3 responses
@varier (5696)
• Indonesia
7 Apr 13
It is all about trust, if you ask me. We can't actually force people to shop online if they don't trust it enough. So be it - let them buy things from their most trusted and comfortable markets. But the number of people who do online transaction keeps growing rapidly. The security is also growing to be better. People also had understood how to use technology better. Online shopping will keep growing rapidly.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Apr 13
I agree wholeheartedly. I just hate to feel that some people are deprived from better deals and better quality sometimes because they automatically feel that their identity will be compromised even within a secure Internet connection that isn't shared. I just feel as if more people knew the facts about online shopping and transactions, they wouldn't knock something before trying it! Thanks for sharing your views!!
@varier (5696)
• Indonesia
8 Apr 13
Apart from identity theft, there's also one other issue: fraudulent activities. In fact, that's the biggest problem here in my country. Not every people have credit card anyway, and most online shopping are being done via bank transfer. Bad people are always being there, on any era, with any technology. And that's our duty to teach people to avoid frauds, scams, and identity thefts.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 13
You're right! Fraudulent activity is on the rampage here in the U.S., too. We are constantly instructed and advised to check our credit scores and credit reports often to monitor for fraud. Lots of phishing websites and tracking cookies are responsible for this. I feel that if we were all more knowledgeable about these topics, we would be able to inform ourselves enough to protect ourselves!
@jalucia (1433)
• United States
21 Jan 13
My identity was stolen and it had nothing to do with the internet. The truth is that a lot of identity theft is at the hands of someone you know, someone close to you.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 13
That is also very true. A lot of people leave valuable information such as credit card numbers just laying around openly in their home or in their office workspace leaving it vulnerable to be stolen by some dishonest individual. A good way to prevent that from happening is to literally think of the credit/bank card as actual money. You wouldn't just leave money laying around no matter who you trusted. When thought of that way, maybe it will reduce identity theft a little more with each passing year. Thanks for sharing your views!!
3 Jul 13
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