You're faced with the big job of Christmas shopping, and you're thinking maybe -- just maybe -- this year, you'll save time, and do it online. Is it safe yet?
Well, safer than last year, and safe enough you might want to consider it as a real possibility -- if you follow my 5 ironclad tips to secure internet shopping.
The hi-tech revolution of the late 90's spawned a huge expectation about shopping online. All the experts were predicting that buying stuff from websites would make malls extinct. That didn't happen, and the technology sector of the economy is suffering. But the surviving businesses are stronger, smarter, safer.
So, our #1 tip for safe shopping online is to shop with names you trust. Most of the big retail companies have an online shopping page now. If you trusted them at the mall, or even through catalog shopping, you can trust them with your credit-card online.
#2: Shop with a credit card that protects you. Many of the big banks issuing credit cards have policies that protect you -- the buyer -- if the seller proves to be fraudulent.
#3 Review all your credit card statements carefully, making sure there are no unexpected charges from places you haven't shopped.
#4 Before you buy, check the warranty and return policies of the seller -- they should be willing to exchange or refund, no questions asked.
#5 Keep records of everything you order. Print out the page that pops-up after you've made the electronic purchase. You'll need it for returns or claims.