In recent times, technology, its devices, and application have become an integral part of the regular
man’s day to day life. With the recent lockdown measure implemented by several countries due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, online shopping has become increasingly popular as only essential service providers are allowed to move in the streets. Services with an online presence and delivery systems have made huge profits, especially in countries experiencing a second wave of cases.
Besides essential services, almost every commodity is available for purchase online today – shoes, bags, wigs, perfumes, clothes, etc., with platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, used to promote the business via social media; thereby eliminating the need for people to enter markets before buying things they want.
Despite the convenience associated with online shopping, there are some precautions to exercise while trying to shop online to protect yourself.
5 Tips for online shopping
- Avoid Wire transfer – when you purchase an item online, whether it be a direct purchase or an auction, never make payment to the seller through wired transfer. Only make use of a credit card which protects the customer in a case of dispute or fraud.
- Use a VPN – if you ever find yourself in the need of a public connection to purchase something that has a limited time offer, it is advisable for the user to try downloading a VPN to ensure privacy before inputting card or account details.
- Avoid shopping in public – due to the risk it poses, it is inadvisable to shop online via the use of a public computer, or over a public Wi-Fi connection, as the user account details may be stored on the computer and used to shop by another user. Browsing over public Wi-Fi exposes the user to hackers who use them as hunting grounds to steal user information.
- Clarify the Terms – when shopping online, it is important to check the terms of the deal being made, ensuring that there is a return policy should the item not be according to consumer’s taste. It is also important to check the shipping fees on the items, ensuring that you do not pay as much on shipping as the item itself.
- Shop from Trusted Services – anyone can set up an online shop these days on any social media platform. Unfortunately, some are a scam or even deliver sub-par quality items to anyone who patronizes them. It is advisable to stick to reputable online stores, or someone you know and trust.
Online retail stores are getting quite popular, with statistics in the United Kingdom showing that 20% of all markets are online-based. It is however important to exercise the above precautions when shopping online, for your own safety.