Many people believe that the only way to shop safely online is to simply avoid it altogether. There’s a common mistrust when it come to online shopping and many people are afraid of exposing their personal and financial information. It’s quite a shame as there are wonderfully credible brands & websites offering money saving deals and coupons you can miss out on. Remember, there are very simple precautions you can take to ensure that your information is safe and to avoid credit card fraud.

1. Stick with PayPal

Making an online purchase using your credit card is not always dangerous, but it is always safer to use PayPal. Not only does this mean that only one company has your credit card, it also protects you if there is a problem with your order. Most websites today accept PayPal, so even if you decide to use it exclusively, you won’t’ be missing out on much.

2. Install an Antivirus Software

Some antivirus products include “Safe Shopping” or “Safe Browsing” features. Safe Browsing will usually protect you from websites that contain scams or malware, and Safe Shopping provides an encrypted “browser” to use when you shop online.

3. HTTPS is your Friend

When you visit a website’s shopping cart, you should notice that the URL now starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP. This is a security certificate that means that the website is encrypted and you can safely use your credit card there.

4. Pay attention to the Links

If you get links to sales or websites via email, it is safer to simply type in the shop’s link directly instead of just clicking the link from your email. If you do click the link, look at the URL to make sure that the domain is authentic and really what it is supposed to be.

5. Do Your Research

If you want to buy from a shop you don’t know, research them a little bit in search engines and social media to see if they look trustworthy and real. Forums are also a great resource to check the website’s authenticity as they share other shoppers’ bad / good experiences.