According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce, American retailers generated more than $200 billion of online revenue during 2012. Leading economists expect that number to exceed $325 billion by 2016, when the number of online shoppers grows to 175 million.
We have all heard of the risks involved with online shopping, and perhaps some of us have been victims of online crime. If we have not experienced online crime ourselves, it is likely that we know someone who has. Either way, it would not be surprising, as Forbes reports than 5% of Americans have been victims of identity theft, and as many as 20% of online shoppers encountered fraud.
The biggest mistake is giving out their personal information via unsecured websites. Such personal information includes your name, address, phone number, debit or credit card number, or Social Security number. Although it is impossible to shop online without providing some person information, it is always a dangerous to do so through sites with dubious security.
For instance, when people shop via large, popular, and reputable online retailers, they can rest assured that they are giving out their information through secure website. On the other hand, if they find what seems like a great deal via a lesser known website, it is impossible to know whether or not it is secure.
Therefore, one of the easiest ways to avoid becoming a victim of online crime is to only shop the most trusted shopping websites. Secondly, never give out more information that is required. If a website says that supplying a certain piece of information is optional, do not give it.
Another valuable piece of advice is to open up a PayPal account for all of your online purchase. Since all of the major retailers accept the use of PayPal, ever shopper should open up an account. Basically, a PayPal account allows patrons to shop online without having to give out any extra information, because it is based online.
Today, people buy everything but houses and cars online. Thus, safe online shopping tips are a lot different from housing and car shopping tips. What they do have in common though as that if you’re not aware of at least the most basic internet, real estate, or car shopping tips you can end up getting ripped off. The bottom line is we need to be vigilant about all of our purchases, especially when it comes to shopping online.