The Internet is a relatively young technology. Today, after close to 15 years of popular use, we see the Internet being used for everything imaginable, especially shopping! Just sixteen years ago, no-one would have understood the concept of shopping online. Yet, the Internet has opened up new ways of doing things that at the time most of us were born would have been beyond the imagination.
Internet shopping offers many advantages. Shopping is truly made easy when you can do it in the comfort of your own home. When you shop at home, you don’t have to dress up to go shopping and you don’t have to brave the cold or hot weather or travel for miles if you live in a remote region. No matter what type of shopping you want to do, the Internet allows you to shop, browse and check things out in the luxury and convenience of your own home. High-quality photos of products taken at varying angles help you get a clear idea of exactly what it is you are buying.
Without a doubt internet shopping gives us huge convenience. Depending on where you live, some internet shopping web sites can deliver your order to your front door in just 1 or 2 days!
Although this is amazing, unfortunately, there are some down sides to shopping on the Internet. “Cyber crime” seems to always be on the rise. Therefore, it is important for consumers to know how to shop.
Problems with Internet security are probably the scariest thing about shopping online. Therefore, you should be aware of a few basic things from the outset. It is important to check that the web site you are buying from uses secure socket layer (SSL) technology. In a nutshell, SSL encrypts the information you send via the web and ensures that hackers and thieves are not able to intercept and steal sensitive information when it is in transit.
A secure website will have the following features:
- the web address in the browser bar should start with “https://….” (the “s” indicates that it is a secure website)
- a padlock should appear at the bottom or the top of your browser window depending on which browser you are using
Be sure to shop at reputable web sites. Often, the smaller the company the higher the risk of having problems. Always buy online with your credit card (not debit card), therefore if the vendor does not honor his or her agreement, you have the security of Visa or MasterCard refunding your money.