Guide to shopping online safely

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Before making any purchase on the Internet, it is convenient that you follow all these tips. In this way you will keep your money and your personal data safe from cybercriminals

The Internet is the largest supermarket in the world and during the confinement it has gained followers . The closure of most establishments and the difficulty of getting around have made online stores the only channel for obtaining non essential products. Although the use of electronic commerce is expected to moderate with the de escalation, it is likely that many people who have started buying online during these weeks will continue to do so in the future. But do we know how to buy online safely? Buying online is not risk free, so it is important to follow a series of tips so as not to end up losing money or so that our personal data does not end up in the hands of cybercriminals.

1. Verify that the web page is encrypted

If we intend to buy online, we must do so only in electronic stores where our data travels safely. We can verify that the web page uses a data encryption system by checking that the URL of the business begins with https and is preceded by a small padlock. It is also advisable to verify that the site has a valid digital certificate.

2. Be wary of shocking offers

Cybercriminals often resort to discounts to attract their victims. If we end up on a website where all products are sold at the same price, which applies excessively aggressive discounts or sells its products at a much lower amount than the competition, it is most likely that it is a fraudulent trade. If we ignore these alerts and in the end we buy, it is most likely that we will not receive the product and lose money or even that we will receive one with characteristics different from those advertised.

3. Verify the accepted means of payment

A legitimate e-commerce supports a wide variety of payment methods. If the online store announces the acceptance of many systems, but in reality it only allows payment by card or bank transfer, we should investigate a little more the legitimacy of the store before purchasing its products.

4. Bet on safe means of payment

The cash on delivery, using wallets as Apple Pay, Google or Samsung Pay Pay, the payment with prepaid cards or through payment platforms, virtual and PayPal are the most secure systems to pay for Internet.

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The first allows us to pay the purchase to the carrier at the time of receiving it, although it usually involves surcharges. The latter keep our card details safe, since they are not shared with the seller. On the other hand, physical or virtual prepaid cards are not linked to our checking account or a line of credit (they work as an independent virtual wallet) and, in the event that data is stolen, they could only spend the money that we had loaded previously. Currently, it is possible to contract free prepaid cards that can be loaded and downloaded easily and instantly through the appor the website of our bank. Finally, PayPal offers a buyer protection system in the event that the product received does not correspond to the one advertised or that it does not arrive directly.

5. Review the terms and conditions

We tend to ignore them, but it is convenient to verify that the online store makes a legal notice available to its users, where we can find the data that identifies the seller and that refers to its privacy policy. If there is no trace of the legal texts, we should be suspicious. It is also worth checking the return policy of the business, especially the information regarding costs and deadlines and, if they are not satisfied, rethink the acquisition. Let’s not forget that it is easy to make mistakes when buying online.

6. Check the opinions of other customers

Before processing our order, we can perform a search on the Internet to know the experience of other customers. This way we can find out if the treatment other users have received has been positive, if the store fulfills what it promises or if, on the contrary, it is a fraudulent trade. Also, if we do not find any reference on the Internet (on opinion pages, blogs, forums, social networks, etc.), we should be suspicious.

7. Freeze your card

If we distrust an electronic commerce with which we have shared our card details or, simply, we want to sleep peacefully every night, we can turn off the card. Most Spanish banks allow you to temporarily freeze these “plastics” through their app and reactivate them later in a very simple way. With this step, we will gain in security, since, while they are blocked, no one can use them.

8. Use online shopping insurance

If we have purchased online with a card and we have not received the product or the one that has arrived does not correspond to what we had been promised, we can claim the purchase protection insurance of our card. This policy is included at no additional cost in some credit cards (it is less common in debit and prepaid cards) and will protect us in case of non reception and non compliance. Of course, before claiming, we must read the insurance contract to know the coverage and exclusions of the policy.

9. Watch out for spam

We must be suspicious of emails that end up in the spam folder. In many cases, the aim of the alleged sellers is just to steal our data or keep our money without sending us anything in return. Although most online businesses use email marketing to encourage purchases and promote their services, before accessing a website through a link received by this means, we must assess the reliability of the sender, check that it does not It is not a case of phishing and ask us if we know the store and if we have given you our email address at any time.

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