Today, an increasing number of people are deciding to use the internet to purchase items. It can seem easier to use the computer than to deal with crowded stores. However, there is some mental stress that happens when a person decides to shop this way. One of the biggest worries is whether credit information will be stolen. There are some tips provided by Kiplinger that if followed, make it possible for safe shopping online.

Things You Will Need

Step 1

Safe Shopping Online (34504)
The first suggestion is to always use the computer at home to make purchases. Public computers could have spyware which would give other users access to personal information. Stay away from places like a hotel business center or a library.

Step 2

Make up some complex passwords and do not use the same one for every account. Keep a record of the ones that you use for each retailer. Some individuals like to use a password manager for safe shopping online. This software is often free and it stores all of the different passwords. One master password is used for the program and it enters the rest. There are several sites on the Web where a password manager can be downloaded. Before downloading, determine if the site specifies the type of encryption. The letters AES for Advanced Encryption Standard, should be there indicating that the highest standard is available. Check the number of bits. Secure encryption has a larger number of bits. The highest available number is 256 bits.

Step 3

When making a purchase, type in the retailer's address instead of replying to an email from them. "Phishers" use authentic looking emails which are really fake. When you click on the link, it takes you to a place where all of your financial information can be stolen. Look for the little padlock or color bar at the bottom of the store's Web site. This means that the information entered will be encrypted so that no one can copy it.

Step 4

Safe shopping online includes several trusted methods of payment. There are single-use credit-card numbers available from banks such as Bank of America, Citibank and Discover. A shopper will receive a number that is linked to their account but is not the actual credit card number. Some of the banks allow the number to be used for multiple purchases from the same retailer while others only allow the number to be used once. There are also alternative payment services available such as Bill Me Later or eBillMe. It is simple to register with them as a payment option. Their name is entered at check out as the payee and an emailed copy of the bill is sent.

Safe shopping online is simple to do if the above advice is followed. Do not be afraid to try it, especially during the holiday season when crowds and long lines seem impossible to wade through at the store.

Tips & Warnings