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Tips to safe online shopping

Price comparison website PricePanda co-founder Christian Schiller offers tips to shop safely online. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 14, 2014Price comparison website PricePanda co-founder Christian Schiller offers tips to shop safely online. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 14, 2014With the Internet, shopping for goods and products has become more convenient and flexible as one could literally buy anything online any time of the day. Nevertheless, such convenience also comes with certain risks.

“Online shopping harbors some dangers such as identity theft, credit card fraud and malware software”, said Christian Schiller, co-founder of price comparison website PricePanda.

To educate its customers and the public, PricePanda has offered a list of ten tips for safe online shopping.

1.    Only shop at a known website address. Be careful with fake websites that use popular domains but a different top-level domain such as “.net” instead of “.com”.

2.    Check the website´s safety level. “Verisign trusted seal” indicates that it has a trusted identity and passes a daily malware scan. Before submitting data, check the URL -- https:// instead of “http://” indicates that your information is safe.

Other indicators for a safe page include the locked padlock in the status bar located at the bottom of the browser and the address field turning green. Price comparison websites like PricePanda check the identity and credibility of the shops they list. So you can guarantee that you are buying from a trustworthy online store.

3.    Be careful with giving data away. Only provide the shopping portals with data they really need and never send credit card details via email.

4.    Check your bank statements regularly. Do not wait for the bill. There may be a high chance to acquire any stolen funds if frauds are reported within a certain time frame, usually 30 to 60 days.

5.    Secure your device. The cost for anti malware software is affordable and will prohibit inconvenient viruses, worms or trojan horses.

6.    Use strong passwords with a good combination of letters, numbers and symbols and do not use them twice. Otherwise hackers may be able to break them and enter the personal account easily.

7.    Avoid making purchases from public computers or hotspots as this makes it easier for people to steal private information.

If you must use public networks for online shopping, only use verified hotspots and ensure no one gets a glance when you are inputting your private data. Hotspot shields help to increase the security level.

8.    Check the credibility of offers. Promising deals from dubious websites you receive via mail are most likely to be false.

9.    Always log out of your browsing sessions and never save your payment details. Closing the browser is not enough to disable the access to the personal account and is an easy game for hackers.

10. Choose carefully your payment method. Debit cards are not safe enough for online purchase. Credit cards offer a higher protection against identity theft.

It is worth taking time to be cautious while shopping online as this will ensure a convenient, safe and enjoyable shopping experience. – March 14, 2014

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