Am I Buying From A Secure Website

Online shopping enables you to comparison shop, buy from almost any company and find the best sales and discounts in just a few minutes. But if you’re not buying from a secure site, you risk having your personal and financial information and your identity stolen.

How to Ensure You’re Using a Secure Site

You can take several steps to ensure that you’re buying from a secure website:

  1. Verify that you’re on the right website. Many phishing websites are designed to imitate the sites of well-known companies, and you may enter your personal information before you realize your mistake. Before entering data, be sure that the company’s name is spelled correctly and that the URL is accurate, with no extra or missing letters.
  1. Look for “https” in the URL. Companies often use unsecured web pages on most of their websites. When the time comes to check out, however, they usually direct you to a secure shopping cart page. You can verify that the page is secure by looking for an “s” right after the “http” in the web address at the top of your browser page. Don’t enter personal information unless you see this indication.
  1. Check for a security symbol. When you’re on a secure website, you’ll see either an unbroken key or a closed padlock symbol at the bottom of your browser page. An open padlock indicates that the page is not secure.
  1. Watch for Warnings About Non-Secure Websites. As you surf the Internet, you’ll likely come across websites that have one purpose: to install spyware on your computer. This spyware can transmit personal information such as your credit card or social security number to hackers. Your web browser, if you update frequently, can let you know when a website is trying to install something on your computer.
  1. Install an anti-virus and anti-spyware program. A good anti-virus and anti-spyware program can stop most virus and spyware attacks. The best program updates itself automatically every time you go online.

Unfortunately, despite taking the appropriate precautions, you may still become the victim of identity theft when shopping online. Carefully review your credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized transactions, and regularly check your credit reports for suspicious activity. Contact your bank or credit card company immediately if you find anything unusual.