Shopping

7 easy tips for safer online shopping

It’s nearly the season of gift-giving and naturally, many of us are hitting up our favourite e-retailers. Here’s how to stay safe when you’re online shopping this Christmas
 


Be safe rather than sorry! | Image: Corbis

It’s that time of the year… to be careful when you’re shopping online.

According to the MasterCard Online Shopping Survey, nine out of 10 people in Singapore bought at least one item online from October to December 2013.

Here are seven tips from MasterCard for safer online shopping:

LOOK OUT FOR THE PADLOCK ICON

When you’re paying, you should see a padlock icon that looks something like this in the URL: 

It is a standard feature for most internet browsers when online shopping. It encrypts your credit card information and purchase details. Encrypting means that it converts the information into a code and prevents unauthorised access, making the transaction more secure.

GET A PREPAID SHOPPING CARD

Avoid overspending on Christmas shopping. Prepaid cards have maximum load amounts, which makes them perfect for shoppers with a fixed budget. You won’t be surprised by bombastic shopping bills if you pay using a prepaid card. Prepaid MasterCard cards are available from Maybank and EZ-Link.

BE WARY OF SCAMS

It’s not at all difficult to set up an online store on the internet. To prevent yourself from shopping at dodgy e-retailers, take some time to do some background research on the e-retailer, especially if it is new to you. You could also look out for online certified logos.

RUN ANTIVIRUS SCANS

It’s troublesome for many but this move could save you a lot of trouble especially around this time of the year.You can download antivirus software for free checks like Norton 360 and AVG, or request a trial period from established antivirus providers. Secure your laptops, mobile phones and tablets with this software to protect your information from being intercepted by malware programmes which could be unknowingly installed into your computer.

BE METICULOUS

Check, check, and check. Before you go on to confirm your purchase, check your payment details, the shopping site’s return policy and data protection covers. Make sure to keep a copy of the invoice and check that the amount matches that on your bank statement at the end of the month.

BE CAREFUL WITH THE INFORMATION YOU DISCLOSE

Do not disclose your personal information unless you know who is collecting it and how it is being used. Some websites sell their customer information to third parties, so check the fine print and opt out of sharing your information if you don’t want other people to use it.

CHECK OUT WITH MASTERPASS

To make online shopping easier, you can link your credit, debit or prepaid card to MasterPass. It stores your payment and shipping details securely, and eliminates the hassle of entering your personal details for each purchase. MasterPass accepts all cards, so  you don't have to be a MasterCard cardholder to sign up! You can do it here: www.masterpass.com.sg

Have a safe and happy Christmas shopping spree!