Protecting Your Credit Card Details While Shopping Online

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One key concern that you are likely to have when venturing to shop online pertains to the safety of your credit card details. The fear is that the credit card details could fall into the wrong hands, ultimately leading to fraud. It is a well-founded fear: for you have to appreciate that all a person needs to make a payment using a credit card (or debit card) online is the card number, the card’s signature/CVV code and the card’s expiry date. And if a fraudster can intercept those details, while being entered in the course of online shopping, then you can quite easily find yourself being a victim of fraud. This state of affairs naturally leads us into the question on what can be done – what you can do – to protect your credit card details while shopping online.

online shopping safety

In my experience, if you wish to protect your credit card details while shopping online, it is essential for you to ensure that you only shop at websites with the requisite security features. And you don’t have to be a geek, for you to know whether a website has the requisite security features. If a given site’s address (especially on the payments page) is preceded by HTTP, rather than HTTPS, and there is no padlock sign before the HTTP/HTTPS, then you know that it doesn’t have the requisite security features. Conversely, you should only enter your credit card details in payments pages whose addresses are preceded by HTTPS, and where the HTTPS is preceded by a padlock sign. You would then be sure that the data you’d be entering would be transferred in encrypted form, which greatly reduces the chances of it being intercepted.

I have also come to learn that it is best to make payments through systems such as Paypal or Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), whenever and wherever possible, rather than entering your credit card details in each and every website you shop at. The modest commissions you pay to the third party payments services like Paypal and Skrill will be nothing compared to the peace of mind you get in return.

How to Minimize the Stress Associated With Online Shopping

Proponents of online shopping would like us to believe that online shopping is an entirely stress-free undertaking. But for those of us who do shop online from time to time, we know that there are indeed certain stresses associated with online shopping. In other words, online shopping is not an entirely stress-free undertaking. That, at least, has been my experience.

online shopping experience

The question that arises, then, is as to how the stress associated with online shopping can be minimized. Before answering this question, it is important for us to first of all have some appreciation of the exact nature of the stress associated with online shopping. This is where we will discover that one source of stress when shopping online is distrust: where, for instance, you fear that you may be scammed. This may specifically be a fear that, having paid money for certain merchandise online, the same may not be shipped to you. There is also another specific fear: the fear that in the course of shopping online, your credit card details may be skimmed, and the same used to fleece you. Another potential source of stress when shopping online is where you have concerns that, even if you aren’t scammed outright, you may still be faced with a situation where the stuff shipped to you is different from what you ordered. Closely related to this is stress due to concern that there may be delay in the shipment of the stuff you order online, leading to inconvenience.

So, how can the stress associated with online shopping be minimized?

One way in which the stress associated with online shopping can be minimized is by ensuring that you only do your online shopping at trustworthy web-based outlets. It may also be a good idea to read the reviews of the online outlets you consider shopping at, in order to minimize the risk of being scammed or otherwise experiencing difficulties. You also need to have the right perspective, in seeing that most of the things that can go wrong with respect to online shopping are things that could also go wrong with respect to traditional-style shopping. And if you can get to a point of seeing that traditional-style shopping also has its own unique stresses, then you will find yourself better placed to cope with the stresses associated with online shopping.

My First Experience Shopping Online

Today, it is exactly 15 years from the first day I shopped online. In other words, today, I am celebrating 15 years of online shopping. And as I mark this milestone, I am inclined to go down the memory lane, and reflect on my first experience shopping online, 15 years ago.

shopping experience

The first time I went shopping online, I was looking for a book. I remember vividly that I was a college student at that time, and I needed a certain textbook, which I couldn’t find locally. In my desperation, someone suggested to me that I should consider shopping for the book online – and that, then, was the genesis of my first experience shopping online.

Fifteen years ago, the Internet was a very different place from what it is today. At that time, the Internet was still not a mainstream thing – at least in the social circles I operated in at that time. 15 years ago, there were no major social networking sites to talk of. Internet access then was still mostly through telephone modems, at the speed of 56 kbits per second. There were few websites then: only the major businesses could afford to have websites. Thus, it was unlike today, when some business can even afford to have special websites set aside for purposes of conducting customer surveys, such as the Papa survey site at www.papasurvey.com. The situation then was vastly different: indeed, even the dominant search engine was something else, other than Google. Google was by then regarded as an upcoming company. There were no social media sites to talk of, and online shopping was really at its infancy.

It is against this background that my first online shopping experience took place. The whole experience was one filled with fear. I was mainly apprehensive that the online book sellers wouldn’t ship the book to me, even after I had paid quite a bit of money for it. But in the final analysis, everything went better than expected, and I have been hooked to online shopping since then…