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Shop Safely Online

August 12, 2016 2 min read

Online shopping is easy, but there are security issues to keep in mind. 

Even if you consider yourself a seasoned online shopper, it's always worth a reminder to make sure your experience is the safest it can be. Follow these tips to minimize online shopping risk. 

  • Site security: Never enter your payment info on a page that is not encrypted. Check for a lock in the address bar, or “https” instead of “http”. This is generated when a site has an SSL Certificate.
  • SSL Certificate: Check that the site has a current, valid SSL certificate, to verify encryption, site security and business identity. If a site has one, you'll find the icon somewhere on the home page, usually at the bottom. 
  • Pay with a Credit Card: Use a credit card rather than a debit card if possible, as that offers you more protection and reduced liability in the event of a problem. If your bank offers them, virtual card numbers are a great idea for online purchases. Using Paypal is another secure option.
  • Log Out: If you’re using a shared machine, always log out of the store website and clear your browser’s history when you are finished ordering something.
  • Is your checkout information being stored? At GunGoddess.com, we only store address and contact information (and only if you create a customer account), we never store your payment information. We also give you the option of checking out as a guest, without creating an account. 
  • What are you buying? Read the product description, especially any fine print. Words like "refurbished," "vintage," or "close-out" may indicate that the product is not new, while name-brand items with too-good-to-be-true prices could be counterfeit.
  • What will the total cost be, including shipping? Watch for hidden extras! At GunGoddess.com, you can view your cart and see all available shipping options & costs before you even start your checkout. And if your order is over $100, it ships free!
  • Check return, refund and exchange policies: This process should be straightforward. Read the fine print! Is a re-stocking or other fee assessed if you make a return?
  • Check for contact phone numbers and email address info: Does a live person answer the phone? If there’s no way to get in touch with the merchant, be wary of placing an order.
  • Check privacy policy: What does the site do with your information? Some merchants resell personal info, buying preferences, and other data to market research companies, telemarketers, and spammers.
  • Check the merchant’s customer testimonials and reviews: They will tell you a lot about how that merchant does business!
  • Keep a paper trail: Print and save records of your online transactions. Check your credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. 

Getting Help:

Did you know about the Internet Crimes Complaint Center? They can help if you believe you have been defrauded in an online transaction. More info here: www.ic3.gov

If you've experienced a problem that you've been unable to resolve with a merchant, these are additional helpful resources:

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