For most people, making any sort of large purchase can be nerve wracking, but buying online, especially when you’re using a site for the first time, can be especially worrying.
However, as most of the best deals – especially when it comes to photography and videography – can be found online, many keen amateurs and professionals are forced to shop on the internet in order to find a bargain.
So if you’re planning on purchasing a new gadget and aren’t sure if an online store is trustworthy, here’s a quick guide to staying safe and secure as you shop online.
Always check for an SSL certificate
As SSL certification is one of the main ways to tell whether or not a website is secure, the first thing you should always do is check to see if an online store as a certificate.
The easiest way to do this is to look up at the URL in the address bar. An unsecure site will have the letters http at the beginning of the address whereas a secure site will have https, with the ‘s’ showing that the site has an SSL certificate.
If the site is secure, you can go ahead with your payment confident that your information will be kept private as it travels across the web.
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe online is to be cautious. For example, if an offer seems too good to be true, it often is, and if a website looks untrustworthy and poorly maintained it is probably better to take your business elsewhere, no matter how good the deal.
If you’re buying from an online marketplace or auction site, you’re always safer if you follow the rules and stick to the official channels. So if a vendor asks you to pay outside the site or through another method, it should always ring a few alarm bells.
By checking for an SSL certificate, being selective about the sites that you shop on and always keeping an eye out for offers that are too good to be true, you can keep yourself and your money safe online while still getting yourself a great deal on that gadget.