ten tricks to buy online safely and avoid scams

ABC Technology




In the coming days, very important dates for online purchases are approaching. On the one hand, today, June 21, Amazon celebrate your Prime Day, which will include discounts on a large number of products. On the other hand, there are many stores that start with the first sales, both in physical stores and online. It is estimated that in these weeks online commerce will be more protagonist than ever and that it will follow a similar or even greater trend than that of the January sales. This increase in online transactions leads to an increase in fraud attempts, as was already observed last year during the confinement, in which, according to data from the Civil Guard, Internet fraud crimes had increased by at least 70% . For all this, from IEBS Business School, digital business school, has collected ten tips to keep in mind when shopping safely online.

Take precautions

Before carrying out any online purchase we must check that the device to be used is properly configured and protected. To do this, we will confirm that the device’s operating system is updated with the latest version. It is also necessary to install an antivirus tool and scan the device for possible threats.

Be wary of disproportionate offers

With the excuse of the start of sales campaigns, the Internet is filled with advertisements with especially irresistible offers. You have to spend a few minutes before buying to detect if what you have in front of you is a bargain or a fraud. Especially when they are in unfamiliar web pages and cut product prices by more than half. Common sense should warn us that such exaggerated offers cannot be true. We will have to review how much the same or similar product costs in other stores, validate the authenticity of the items and review testimonials from other buyers.

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Check the purchase conditions

Before completing the purchase process, we must make sure what the right to return consists of or if it involves any cost. By law, when a consumer buys from a company within the European Union and if the purchase has been made online, they have right to cancel and return the order within 14 days, for any reason and without any justification. The same with the legal guarantee. EU products are always entitled to a minimum two-year warranty at no cost. It is important to note that these criteria do not have to apply to stores that do not belong to the Member States.

Do not use a public WiFi

This point is very basic but many times we forget to check it. It is important not to connect the device with which we are going to make online purchases with a public WiFi network. Access to bank details or payment gateways could be exposed and would be at risk of being intercepted during the purchase process. Use your internet connection; your home network or your mobile data network. If we are going to carry out transactions from home, we must make sure that we configure the router so that third parties cannot connect to the network.

Find out about the store

Any online store must publicly display its full name, NIF and tax address. Also a contact telephone number and an email address to be able to send questions or complaints. Likewise, it is important to identify the legal texts, such as ‘Terms and Conditions’ and the ‘Privacy Policy’. If you have this information, look for opinions of other users on the Internet to verify that it is reliable. Social networks play an important role in exposing fraudulent stores.

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Try to use online payment cards

Payment options on delivery, by credit card or using trusted intermediaries such as PayPal are the safest. Above all, do not send cash or make bank transfers to complete a purchase. The advantage of paying with platforms like PayPal is that the customer guarantee assures us a money back if it is a scam or the shipment never arrives. In addition, this way you minimize the number of websites that know your card details.

HTTPS protocol

When we are going to provide private information such as ID, name, address or bank details, for example, we must check that the website sends the information using the secure communication protocol ‘https’ and that it does not put ‘http’. This can be found at the beginning of the URL or web page where we are buying. Authorities guarantee the legitimacy of a digital certificate. Therefore, it is necessary to verify that the store has a security certificate and that the url of the browser matches the expected site. If it does, the browser will show a padlock icon and, by clicking, you will be able to see its data. Look at the name that appears in the browser bar, cybercriminals take advantage of the rush and similarities to take you to malicious sites. For example, in an email with a super offer and a link to Compracomcabeza.com instead of Compraconcabeza.com.

Keep evidence of the transaction

Once the purchase is made make sure you keep transaction evidence. Normally they automatically send you a confirmation email with all the purchase information. Make sure you receive it before closing the pages. If you don’t, save screenshots, receipts or reference numbers until the order arrives.

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Cyber ​​risk insurance

With the spread of digitization driven by the pandemic, cyber attacks have increased exponentially. For this reason, there are more and more companies that offer cyber risk insurance. These insurances offer you coverage for the damages that they can claim

Choose businesses with trusted seals

Trust seals are badges that are provided to e-businesses to demonstrate their quality and security when selling online. To obtain this seal, the stores are audited and evaluated for check that they correctly comply with the security, privacy and consumer protection criteria. One of the best known stamps in Spain is ‘Confianza Online’.

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