How to keep it safe, better be safe than sorry
BY ROLLY CERERA
Heavy unbearable traffic, long queues, and while you are at it, of course you need to stop by a food chain or restaurant to tide you over your shopping adventure.
There are other inconveniences one has to endure to buy something from a shop; thankfully our modern era has paved the way to a more expedient way of buying things – right in the comfort of your homes or anywhere for that matter, with just a few clicks or taps.
Online shopping is an ongoing trend. It adheres to the fast-paced changing society we live in nowadays where time is a valuable commodity most people lack. Nothing comes good after “but” – BUT with every good thing is always a drawback. Not only did the way of living leveled up, crime did too.
Lawless individuals come in many forms and are not exempt from evolving with the modern age. Fact at hand, we too must learn how to be vigilant to counteract their mischievous deeds.
So here’s a guide on how not to fall victim to the unscrupulous ways and means of the modern crooks as you wander the world wideweb’s marketplace.
1. Do your own RESEARCH
Don’t be fooled by these too-good-to-be-true marketing strategies, it is not at all true. It is either a rip off or there is a fine print that will ask for more money making it the same sorry mess all together.
It is imperative to note that you are not dealing with the muscled mustached or disoriented heavily tattooed type of individual who will point a weapon at you. These are well-educated folks or groups if not people with amazing IQs, its best to know who we are dealing with – keep your guard up at all times.
Check the website, what comes after “.com?” it is usually the country code like .com.ph for the Philippines, .com.sg for Singapore and so on. If there are too many characters after the homepage’s .com web address, then you need to intensify your investigation.
2. Play your CARDS well
Internet shopping requires a credit or debit card to purchase which of course entails usernames and passwords. Never store them in your hand held devices. There was this classic police report where a man was nabbed of all his possessions, the criminals texted his wife pretending to be him asking for his password. The rest was history. The card company will not be liable for this; it is futile to ask for a consideration, even if you bleed green.
If you can, pay in cash. Most online shops have a Cash On Delivery (COD) feature, make the most out of it.
3. Let the STATEMENT be heard
Should you use your card, make sure you regularly check your statement of account. I worked for a prestigious international card company before, I had an 80-plus year-old lady call me up complaining about expensive car accessories and sex toys charged on her account, when I did my own research, the last time she used her card was on a dubious online store.
Read through your statement of account and never throw away your receipts. Always countercheck your purchases with the receipts you possess. If there is a dispute, immediately contact the card company and they will conduct an investigation on their own, this normally takes 30 days.
4. CONNECT wisely
Don’t just use any FREE Wi-Fi if you are to input your card or personal details. Wi-Fi works as a means to give you access to the net, conversely it can be used to get information out of your device. So if you’re going to purchase anything online, which will definitely ask for personal information, then it is best to connect to a secure Wi-Fi or your own data connection.
Memorize your password. If possible, change it after every six months. The best passwords are those that utilize a good combination of capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Like P@ssword123. Hahahaha. I know you are wittier than that.
5. Do your own SHARE and SPREAD the word
Always check the return policy. Gingerly inspect the item bought and ship them back immediately if you are not satisfied.
If you’re satisfied with the service, write a simple comment. Online stores normally have a testimonial page where customers can rant or give worthwhile comments about the item they purchased, and the process they went through with it.
It can be pleasing like, “I received my order in just two days and everything went smooth as silk” or “I followed up on my order for the nth time and after receiving my order, it was defective.” This will allow others and future online shoppers to set their expectations.
Almost anything can be bought online nowadays from marijuana to diapers and toothpicks to fresh vegetables. The Internet is at our disposal to use according to our preference and lifestyle. But times change and so does felony and criminals. Dirty schemes and plots are prevalent so it is still up to us to remain vigilant.
Read before you click, know before you Shop. Happy Internet shopping!