10 Ways to Shop Safely Online

Online shopping is convenient, but it’s important to take the time to learn how to keep yourself safe while shopping online. Here are ten things you can do to ensure you have a smooth and safe online shopping experience.

1. Look for a secure web address

The simplest way to make sure you’re on a safe site is to look at the URL — is there an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ part of the URL? If the site has ‘https’ in front of it, you’re safe. If it’s just ‘http’ you’re not. The ‘https’ lets you know that the site has acquired an SSL license, meaning your information is scrambled as it travels across the web and kept safe from hackers.

2. Check for site updates

Most major websites will be updated constantly as updates are usually necessary to keep up with security measures. Look around to find when the site was last updated. If it hasn’t been updated in awhile, it may be a good indication that the site isn’t safe.

3. Look at the contact information

Any reputable site should have contact information somewhere on the site, usually in the footer. If there’s a phone number, call it! Look up the address on Google Maps and see if it really exists. Don’t just assume that an address or number posted on a website is real without doing some research.

4. Use a third-party payment system

Look for sites that allow you to pay using PayPal, a third-party payment system that is well known and trusted. Rather than giving your card information directly to the site, PayPal acts as an intermediary so the company never even sees your credit card number. PayPal will also help you if anything fraudulent happens with the transaction.

5. Don’t give out personal information

An online store will never need your social security number, your PIN number, or your online passwords. If a site or email asks you for these, do not give it to them. It could be a phishing scam.

Online Shopping Security

Image Credit: sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6. Create Strong Passwords

If you create accounts at an online store, be sure to create a strong password. Use a mixture of letters and numbers along with capital letters and lowercase letters.

7. Do some research

If you’re feeling unsure about a company, Google it! See if others out there have had positive or negative experiences with the company. You just might be able to get a quick answer out of a simple Google search.

8. Read everything twice

As you go through the checkout process, be sure to read all of the information carefully and inspect every detail. Make sure there isn’t any strange fine print or hidden charges.

9. Use your credit card for shopping online

If fraud does occur on your credit card after shopping online, you can dispute the charges with your bank without actually losing any money from your checking account. Additionally, if your card has a low limit, the identity thief can’t get too far with your stolen card number.

10. Trust your Instincts

There are plenty of sites out there offering deals that sound too good to be true. If your common sense tells you that a deal is too good to be true, trust your instincts and walk away.


Online shopping is convenient, but don’t let the convenience fool you. Slow down and take the steps mentioned above to keep your identity safe while shopping online.


About the Author: This guest post was provided by Russell Jensen, a writer for SatelliteInternet.com

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  1. Tan from breakfast sausage

    Hey Russell , regarding “Check for site updates”, do you mean to content or script? I think you mean the content as you will never know whether they update the script or not. But some item may not update so frequent.
    Tan recently posted..Delicious varieties That You May Try in Breakfast Sausages!My Profile

    • Alan Tay says:

      Well Tan, I think what Russell is trying to mean here is certain sites has the “Last Updated Date”. Which means that if there is some site which might already been outdated for instance 1-2 years, then from the security point of view, it is not a fully protected site as security patches are not applied with the latest available on the internet.

    • First of all thank you Alan for answering this question for me. If a website is updated with new, unique content every week then it indicates the webmaster is paying attention to his website. Neglected online stores are susceptible to hackers, and your information can be stolen from the site if the webmaster isn’t paying attention.

  2. Cass says:

    Online shopping can really be risky. Those are great tips for a safe online shopping. I usually transact on reputable websites only like official websites of well-known companies.

  3. Merry says:

    First of all you make your computer with firewall safety. Always buy products from familiar shop online sites. Carefully reads the terms and services of the site. Also create your transaction carefully. Also payment with credit card only.

  4. Hi, yup this post is truly good and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

  5. Greg says:

    It all depends on the website you decide to transact with. In my opinion, the risk of getting your info stolen or not getting your part of the deal will significantly decrease if you stay with highly reliable websites who have been in the business for many years. Great tips Russel, these will surely help online shoppers to be more aware of the hazards.

  6. Lexi says:

    Thanks for spreading these tips especially for those who are planning to do some purchases online. If you’re not completely sure about a particular website, I suggest you do some research first and go with the one that has the most number of positive reviews.

  7. Bekerman says:

    Scams are very common online. It is really important before you are going to shop, make sure that the page you want to shop is authenticated.

  8. joe reel says:

    Another rule of thumb to follow: think twice if it’s too good to be true.

    In addition to the Paypal note above, they actually don’t cover buyers who buy digital goods and services. In other words, Paypal is only good for purchasing physical products. From their FAQs:

    “One of the most important requirements for coverage under Seller Protection is proof of shipment or delivery. Since deliveries made in person and sales of intangible goods do not have verifiable shipping documentation, we cannot currently extend protection for these types of transactions. ”

    For ebooks and other intangible stuff, you might be better off using a debit card that you can load whenever you need to pay for something.

  9. Kristy John says:

    Since past few years online shopping is being very popular among people for it’s various facilities as; saving the time, avoiding the overcrowd of the mall and other lots of. So, by following your suggested 10 excellent tips it’ll be much easier. Thanks for the contribution.

  10. benrizo01 says:

    Hi Alan,
    Nice striking again with good concept of amount. Yes many people should suffer with this online shopping now there is no problem at all. Really this will be so beneficial to all E-commerce sites. Thanks to share this kind of informative post.

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