4 Key Tips for a Safe Online Shopping Experience


The sheer number of ecommerce websites and apps has made shopping convenient. With just a few mouse clicks or taps on the screen, you can easily buy various goods from the comfort of your home. However, while shopping for your groceries, clothes, and electronics online saves you time and energy, it also exposes you to numerous safety and privacy threats.

Some of the dangers you may encounter when shopping online includes phishing scams, unsafe ecommerce platforms, and identity theft. If you fall for these tricks, your personal data can be compromised. 

Fortunately, you can practice several safety measures to keep your online shopping experience secure. Before you use your credit card or a loan app to help pay for your purchase, here are 4 safety tips that can give you peace of mind when shopping online: 

Make Sure You’re Shopping on a Secure Website or App

Reputable ecommerce websites and apps make sure that their online sellers and users feel safe when making transactions. That’s why they strive to maintain their secure sockets layer (SSL) certification. An SSL certificate authenticates a website’s identity, which assures users that the website they’re visiting keeps their information private and secure. It also means that the website encrypts the data they receive to defend against cyber-attacks like malware, ransomware, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The easiest way to tell if a website is secure is if its URL starts with “HTTPS” rather than just “HTTP”. There should also be a lock icon somewhere in the browser’s address bar. When it comes to ecommerce apps, you need to make sure that they’re verified by Google Play or the App Store to ensure that they’re safe to download. You can also read user reviews to determine whether the app is safe for use or not.

Inspect the Merchant’s Page Thoroughly

Having an online store allows merchants to show all their wares more conveniently, as well as reach a wider audience. However, not all online sellers have the resources to put up their own website. Thus, they rely on ecommerce platforms.

Creating an online seller profile on these sites is a quick and easy process, with many platforms allowing sellers to upload their goods as soon as they finish signing up. Unfortunately, this simple process also enables scammers to make fake seller accounts to rip people off of their cash. Thankfully, it’s easy to differentiate a legitimate online seller from a scammer.

Make sure to thoroughly inspect a merchant’s page first before making any purchases. If the platform has a verification feature, check if the merchant has a badge on their profile and that the name of their store isn’t made up of randomly generated numbers and letters.

It’s also a good idea to take a look at the quality of their product images. If their online store is filled with product photos that are in low resolution or are badly manipulated, there’s a good chance that the items the shop is selling aren’t authentic. You can also take a look at the number of customer reviews, the number of items sold, the store rating, and the year the store has been established. If the numbers are too low and the reviews are mostly negative or non-existent, you can suspect that the online store is run by a scammer.

Avoid Too-Good-to-Be-True Deals

It’s common for ecommerce companies to hold mega sales every so often, so it’s not surprising that online stores sell their products at a discount during these sales. However, if you see merchants offer extremely low prices, be wary of them. Online stores that feature too-good-to-be-true deals usually claim to be wholesalers of well-known brands and sell high-quality products at affordable prices. In reality, these shops typically carry fake or defective items and mark them as authentic.

When you purchase from these stores, you can expect that what you buy are of low quality or damaged beyond use. It might also be impossible or difficult to return the defective items, especially when the store isn’t clear with their terms of service. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid these types of online shops at all costs to save you from all that trouble.

Be Wary of Sites That Ask for Too Much Personal Information

Almost all ecommerce websites and apps ask you to provide them with some of your personal details to authenticate your profile. These often include your shipping address, email address, telephone or cellphone number, and mode of payment. If they ask you for your bank account or social security number, don’t proceed any further. Reputable online businesses would never ask you to give out any sensitive information because they respect your right to privacy.

Even if you give them some of your personal information (e.g., name, birthday, and city where you live), ecommerce companies are committed to keeping them secure and private. This is to prevent unauthorized access to your account and information. If an ecommerce platform is requiring you to share more information than necessary to create an account, leave the website and take your business elsewhere.


Without a doubt, online shopping provides you with a number of benefits that make it better than visiting a physical store. It’s fast, easy to use, and you can do it virtually anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection. Even though shopping online is convenient, it does come with its own set of problems that can put your privacy at risk. Fortunately, you can use the tips mentioned above to help keep your online shopping experience safe, secure, and hassle-free.