100% Secure shopping
100% SECURE SHOPPING
Nowadays, online shopping is becoming more common. The comfort of visiting a variety of stores and browsing their products without leaving home is undeniable - especially in the winter months.
A survey by Eurostat (statistical office of the European Commission) shows that more than a quarter of Bulgarians who use the Internet shop online, and the number tends to increase. In fact, for the last five years the share of people in our country who buy various products on the Internet has almost tripled - from about 10% in 2012 - to about 30% last year.
Eurostat data reveal that Bulgarians most often buy home goods online. This is followed by travel and hotel reservations, tickets for concerts, theater, cinema and other events, the purchase of clothing and sporting goods, as well as the ordering of technological gadgets.
Residents of the capital and our largest cities even place online food orders.
However, not everything with online shopping is so rosy - some consumers complain about unexpected fees and fraud. In the latter case, the goods have either not arrived or the data from the buyer's debit / credit card have been misused.
And since in the near future the majority of economically active citizens of Bulgaria will make purchases on the Internet, we will introduce you to some easy tips for safer and more reliable online shopping:
Use proven sites
Every internet user - even those who do not shop online, knows which are the biggest online stores. Over time, they have proven to be reliable enough, and their popularity and growth is a good indicator of this.
Through ads on Facebook, spam in your e-mail or accidentally - you may come across sites that offer very interesting goods at too low prices. However, our advice is not to be tempted - many of these sites are fraudulent, and you may not receive the ordered and paid goods.
Experts advise you to be careful if the name of the site you are ordering from is not fake - for example amason.com instead of amazon.com. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and a different letter is essential.
Domains with strange names should also be avoided at all costs.
HTTPS, not HTTP
This advice is more specific, but very important - shop only from sites whose URL starts with https: //, not http: //. The difference here is again very small at first glance - only one letter S, but it is extremely significant.
HTTPS is much more secure, providing a secure connection when transferring data between Internet users. The protocol encrypts the connection between the client and the server in both directions, which provides protection against eavesdropping, falsification or falsification of the content of the messages.
In practice, this provides sufficient guarantees that the user is linking to the correct site (not a fake copy), as well as ensuring that the content of messages between the user and the site cannot be read or tampered with by third parties.
In the case of online shopping, HTTPS ensures that your debit or credit card details are securely protected.
Have a special email address for shopping
When shopping online, you must provide your email address. Our advice is to have a separate mail, which is only for online shopping. This gives you two advantages:
- If the site you shop from is ever hacked or otherwise compromised, your important personal information (which is present in your main email) is not at risk.
- All promotional and marketing emails go to your shopping mail, which allows you to save a lot of space for your main email.
Use difficult and different passwords
Your online store accounts should have difficult, and preferably different, passwords. Cybercriminals always try the easiest combinations first, and if you have a complicated password, it's hard to guess.
If you have a different password for each different account, even if cybercriminals hack one of your accounts, they will not be able to access your other accounts.
Have a reliable antivirus
A virus-free and malware-free computer is key to secure online shopping. Experts recommend that you have a reliable antivirus program, perform periodic checks, and generally "keep your computer in good health."
Shop only from your personal device
Sometimes online shopping scams happen offline. Often your computer remembers your profile when you shop on a site. This makes the whole procedure easier for the user, but if your account is stored on someone else's computer there is a risk that someone will make purchases on your behalf.
Check your statements
Here again, mobile banking can be very useful - regular checking of your debit or credit card activity helps to determine if there is any irregularity. Remember that iron is forged while it is hot, and carelessness can lead to the accumulation of solid losses.
Watch out for too low prices and bad design
The bad design of an online store is something that does not necessarily mean fraud, but it is an alarm that should tell you a few things. It is possible that this online store is no longer operational, its owner has no experience in online sales, no funds or the site is fake.
Too low prices are also a sign of possible fraud - no real retailer will sell you the latest iPhone for $ 150.
This very general advice can be life-saving on the Internet - avoid clicking on weird links, don't believe too generous discounts and low prices, don't open spam emails in your mail, and be careful about their recipient's mail - there's a big difference between firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Armed with these tips, online shopping would be much safer and more enjoyable. After all, who wants to wander the malls, wait in lines or bump into crowded stores when they can shop from their home computer?