It’s not surprising to learn that Amazon stock recently topped $1000 a share. With their innovative online shopping experience, millions trust them to deliver and guarantee their shopping experience.
However, what do you do if the item you want can’t be found on the big online retailer sites? Visiting a niche site can be dangerous for your online security. That being said, not all niche sites are run by nefarious online criminals. If you are considering making a purchase with a niche online retailer, here are some tips to ensure that you have a positive shopping experience.
When you enter the checkout of a niche online retailer, you should see the URL of the site change from Http to Https. This means that the checkout is encrypted and your personal details will be securely handled.
The front of the URL should also feature a padlock, or key icon to inform you that you are dealing with a secure site.
2) No pop-ups:
There should be no pop-up advertising on your screen. Some online criminals and hackers will use this as a redirect to funnel you into a data capturing system that captures your personal and credit card information. No reputable online dealer will have pop-ups on their site, they realize that consumers dislike them, possibly resulting in no-sale.
3) Random email offers:
If your retailer asks you to sign up to their mailing list, you can expect them to notify you when good deals are available, or of any shopping holidays that may be coming up, such as Black Friday.
However, if you begin to receive unsolicited emails from them, then they are using your personal information unethically. Beware of spoof emails that look like they may be from a reputable retailer. Never enter any of your personal details in reply to these emails.
4) Check for reviews of past shoppers:
Everything you need to know about your retailer is available online. If you are suspicious of a certain online retailer, search for an independent review site that has past customer reviews from others that have successfully used the site to complete a transaction. Reviews are becoming important to search engines and they are usually listed in the top search results. A simple search could save you a headache when it comes time to deal with a niche online retailer.
5) Online payment services accepted:
When you enter a brick and mortar store and pay for goods by credit card, you are physically available for identity verification. The credit card machine has a magnetic card reader that can be used to read the card’s information.
There is a RFID chip embedded into the card, similar to those found in passports. A passport scanner reads the biographical information on the chip and presents it to the immigration agent for inspection and verification. Similarly, This chip is read by a card dispenser, such as an ATM and prompts you to enter a PIN in order to access your account.
To remove this risk completely from your online shopping experience, simply sign up for an online payment service such as Google Checkout or PayPal. Both of these services are commonly accepted online by all the major retailers and most niche sites as well. Enter your information into the payment service provider and then simply click the icon of your service provider in the checkout phase for an easy, smooth transaction.
While nothing can completely ensure your security online, taking a few countermeasures as listed above will mitigate your risk while shopping.