Shopping Online provides a convenient way of making purchases at any time of day, 365 days a year, from a wide range of retailers offering more choice than ever before.

Analysts predict that each year more people than ever will use the Internet for shopping. But they also warn that fraud is on the rise and Internet users need to become better educated on how to protect themselves. Credit cards have helped fuel the Internet economy because they provide security, convenience and reliability for online purchases.

I am a great lover of e-shopping myself! I’ve bought almost anything you can imagine, from a Swiss watch to the tickets of the last Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Bilbao which, by the way, was absolutely great!!! But you must be careful and follow some easy rules.

Here you are some useful tips to take into account:

  1. Know who you are dealing with. Conduct business with those companies that you know and that are reputable. Get the seller’s landline phone number and postal address. Remember, you will be sharing your credit card number, your name and possibly your address and phone number.
  2. Check security. Look for the picture of the unbroken key or closed lock in your browser window. Either one indicates that the security is operative. A broken key or any open lock indicates it is not. Look to see if the web address on the page that asks for your credit card information begins with “https:” instead of “http.” Some web sites use the words “Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)” or a pop up box that says you are entering a secure area. These security protections do not work in e-mail. So, make sure you send personal and payment information in a secure web transaction.
  3. You should never be asked to tell anyone your card’s PIN number – even if they claim to be from your bank or the police and never use your Social Security Number or PIN as a password. Treat online marketers as you would telephone marketers or anyone else you don’t know. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so pass it up.
  4. Only provide your payment card number when you are making a purchase and if you have initiated the negotiation and review your statement immediately and thoroughly. Whether you get your statement by postal mail or online, review each transaction carefully to make sure there are none that you did not make and keep records of what you order.

Now, why not sharing with me some of your e-shopping experiences? Go ahead, I’m really willing to listen to them!

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