The Indian Ecommerce sector is seeing a renaissance of the sort with the entry of more and more new players. The entry of Amazon into the market recently is poised to shakeup the sector and result in consolidation of the fragmented market. But a key problem faced by many shoppers while shopping online is paying for their transactions. The increasing incidence of online fraud is making consumers scary to make payments online. Below are some of the tips to safely shop online:
Don’t Shop on Untrusted Sites
Never shop on untrusted sites. Always check the reputation of the site before you start shopping on it. A simple way to do this is by reading the reviews written by people who have already shopped on a specific website. For websites whose reputation is questionable, online tools like F-Secure Browsing Protection and AVG LinkScanner Drop Zone give historical information about a website and examine it on a real time basis. If you are still suspicious about a website you can opt for Cash on Delivery (C-O-D) option as most of the Indian Ecommerce websites now offer this payment option.
Use Passwords While Paying Online
Always register for a password authentication system for the credit cards you want to use for online shopping. All the leading credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard offer online fraud protection services like Verified by Visa using which you set a password/PIN for making online transactions. If you find it difficult to remember passwords, some banks are now offering one-time password (OTP) services for transactions made online. Banks send an OTP to customers’ mobile phones just at the time of completing the transaction.
Use Online Payment Services
If you are making purchases from a foreign website, you can use online payment services like PayPal, Payoneer, Google Wallet, etc. These payment services offer an additional layer of security as the payment will be first transferred to your accounts with the service provider from where it is finally routed to the merchant. Your Credit Card/Bank A/C details are never revealed to any third person.
Install Good Antivirus on Your PC
Hackers install malware on your Computers which can steal details of your Credit Cards and Bank Accounts. These kind of malware quietly sit in your PC and steal the data when you are shopping from an Ecommerce site. Always have a good antivirus software with protection against online ID theft installed on your PC. Also remember to keep your antivirus up to date.
Keep Checking Your Bills
Owners of malicious sites and hackers don’t wait for more time to steal money from your Credit Cards and Bank Accounts. They will generally try to steal as quickly as possible. So keep monitoring the online statements of your Credit Cards and Bank A/Cs in the days following the purchase. Contact your bank/credit card company immediately after you find anything fishy. This way, you can get your Bank A/C/ Credit Card suspended quickly and control the damage.
Be Careful with the Networks You Use
Be careful to properly protect the networks through which you connect to the Internet. Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks and Internet Cafe’s for online shopping. Lax controls on such unprotected networks can expose your sensitive data to risk. Your Private networks are not totally safe from hackers. Protect your home/office Wi-Fi networks by installing proper firewalls. Extra care is advised when shopping online through your mobile phones/tablets. Check the veracity of the short URLs that the mobile versions of websites use when browsing on portable devices. Hackers use wrong short URLs which are difficult to detect to route unsuspecting customers into malicious websites.