Shopping online has become the norm for everything, from clothes to groceries and furniture. While it’s more convenient to do your shopping online, it’s not always the least expensive or safest way to conduct your purchasing. Keep reading for tips on how you can be a smart online shopper.
Never Online Shop Using A Public WIFI Network
A public network in a coffee shop, store, or public library is never a great place to do your online shopping. While it’s okay to browse for what you’re looking for, avoid putting in your financial information until you’re on a secure network. Criminals can hack a public WIFI network and steal your credit card number and other personal information.
Always Shop Online with a Credit Card
If you were to shop online and have your personal information stolen, you don’t want to be liable for paying for fraudulent charges. Credit Cards often provide protection from fraud where many debit cards do not. Sikorsky Credit Union’s VISA credit cards all have VISA’s Zero Liability Policy to protect you from fraud. Click here to learn more about our credit cards and the perks that come with them.

Look for Secure Websites
When shopping online, first be sure to only shop at retailers that you know and trust. Do a little research to ensure that the website you landed on to do your purchasing is actually the correct website for the store. Next, before you purchase anything, make sure that you look for a secure website connection. You can tell by looking in the URL and seeing an HTTPS before the rest of the website URL.
Print or Save Your Order Confirmations
For any purchases that you make online, be sure to print out or save the transactions or confirmation email. Having documentation of your purchases, including the order number, how much you spent, the items you purchased, and what store you made those purchases from can help you if you ever need to contact the store about your order. It’s also good to refer to in case you were charged a higher rate than you were expecting for the goods you ordered.

Look for Coupons and Discount Codes
Many stores have discounts on free shipping or sales specifically for online orders. Look around for stores you trust that are offering good deals on what you’re looking to purchase. Additionally, if you follow influencers on Instagram or Facebook and like the products that they use, you can see if they are currently offering any specific discount codes on items they endorse.

Be Careful About Retail Emails and Popups
We have all experienced giving our email out at stores and being added to their mailing list.  With so many emails coming in from retailers, it could be difficult to decipher which ones are real offers and deals, versus which are phishing emails that can look like a message from a well-known brand but is actually someone looking to put malware on your device. You should also be careful of clicking on any popups that appear that aren’t built into the website. Don’t click on links you can’t verify and trust.

Source: (2019). BBB Tip: Smart Shopping Online. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].