The most important thing to consider when gauging the degree of your online shopping security is the web browser you use to conduct Internet business. Your browser is the software program you use to navigate the Internet. To ensure a maximum secure online shopping experience, make certain your browser complies with important security standards. You should check and make sure that your browser is operating with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Secure Sockets Layer scrambles your personal information, such as your credit card number, when you make a purchase online, drastically reducing the chances that any third parties will intercept your personal information. Most computers come equipped with browsers that are SSL-enabled. If you're not sure about your browser, consider downloading one for free that explicitly states it is SSL-enabled to ensure a secure online shopping experience.
Another easy way to increase your online shopping security is to choose very hard to guess passwords. Most online merchants require you to set up an account with them before making a purchase. When you choose a password for your account, be certain to choose one that no one will be able to guess. Even though it may be easy to remember, don't use your birth date, telephone number, pet name, or any other piece of personal data that someone may be able to guess with relative ease. Write down your passwords and guard them in a safe place. Never give out your password, even if you receive an e-mail that seems to be from the merchant. Reputable merchants will never ask for your password.
For optimal online shopping security, consider conducting transactions with only popular, reputable merchants. Nearly anyone can set up an online shop-be aware that some online storefronts may simple be concocted in order to lure unknowing consumers. If you're interested in doing business with an online merchant, but are concerned because the merchant is not well-known, familiarize yourself with their return and exchange policies before you submit an order. Even better, contact the merchant and ask for a paper catalog. This will give you a much clearer idea of how the business is run and what type of products they specialize in. If the merchant does not have a paper catalog available or never responds to your request, you might be safer shopping somewhere else.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure your online shopping security is to use a credit card, especially if you have any doubts about the transaction. Using a credit or charge card for your transactions all guarantees that you are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). The FCBA allows you to dispute charges, and withhold payment while the case is under investigation.
Under the FCBA, if your credit card were stolen and used to make illicit purchases, you would generally only be responsible for the first $50 in purchases. Many credit cards, however, offer supplemental warranty's wherein you are not responsible for any illegal charges.