Online shopping safety tips for teens

online shopping safety

How satisfying is clicking and shopping, right? First, click, add to basket. The second click, check out. So simple! All you have to do now is wait for your order to arrive.

Is it any wonder then that teens love this super easy and fast process of online shopping too? Believe it or not, as per a recent report, 84% of Indian teens are extremely fond of shopping online. In fact, 52% of them use their parent’s cards to pay off for whatever they shop!

And you know what that means. With such a surge in online shopping and online payment methods comes the added risk of fraudulent activities. Hackers and scammers are also only a click away after all, and you never know when they might attack an unsuspecting teen.

That is why it is important to follow online shopping safety rules so teens do not get into trouble or end up losing their parents’ hard-earned money. Here are 10 of them to swear by.

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  1. Shop from only trusted and safe websites
  2. How do you know which website is safe and trustworthy? Well, there are a couple of things that can help you out. First, secure websites will have the HTTPS protocol in them. Or you might notice a little padlock at the beginning of their URL in your search/address bar. This is a must.

    Apart from that, you will notice that trusted websites enjoy a great reputation among shoppers and offer safe payment experience, using a reliable payment gateway that prevents scams. So a brand or website’s online reputation for safety is something you should check too. That is online shopping safety rule #1 for you.

  3. Protect your personal information 
  4. One of the ways you can do that is by withholding information. Yes, that is correct because you see a lot of these scammy websites will ask you to share more of your personal information than is the standard protocol. So you have to stop these scammers in their tracks by not sharing any sensitive information with them. Especially during payments. Not only can you prevent identity theft by not sharing your information, you can also prevent unauthorised access to your sensitive data.

  5. Do not give into unrealistic deals 
  6. As tempting as it may sound hearing that your favourite Nike shoes are 90% off on a random website, do not give into this highly unrealistic deal. There might be a catch, and that catch might be your identity compromised.

    Unless you have done a lot of research, trust the website, know that the seller is honest and transparent, and enjoys great reviews, do not make that purchase. Trust your gut, you know. It is stopping you too and telling you this deal is too good to be true. And chances are, it is 100% right. So that is another online shopping safety tip you should keep in mind.

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  7. Keep your passwords impenetrable
  8. Next on our list of online shopping safety tips is fortifying your passwords. We mean all your passwords. Including the ones that you do not use on shopping websites. For example, like those on social media. Because you never know when hackers will enter your account and steal your personal data.

    One of the best ways to strengthen your passwords is to come up with random ones that include both numbers and special characters in them. Remember, your password should not be too easy to guess or noted down somewhere (digitally or physically) where people can get access to it. If making and remembering too many difficult passwords is a task, you can always use a reliable password manager. Remember to keep changing your passwords every few months though!

  9. Keep track of your finances 
  10. Okay maybe this shopping safety tip is more for the parents than for their teens but keeping track of your finances is vital if you do not want to lose money to illegal, fraudulent activities.

    Keeping tabs on your credit and debit card statements will help you know where all your money is going, and if any unauthorised transactions have been made. You can also set up alerts for large transactions so you know real-time if there has been fraudulent debit on your account so you can immediately report it and hopefully get your money back.

  11. Learn about phishing 
  12. Phishing is a real danger, which is why it features next on our list of shopping safety tips. You should really read about it online to learn more, but basically it is a way for scammers to pose as a real business you have interacted with in order to extract sensitive information from you.

    Since these accounts are fakes, it is important to learn how to spot them. For example, senders of phishing emails and texts will generally have a phoney address which is close to the actual business’s name but has some or the other error in spelling or an extra number or symbol here and there.

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  13. Stay away from counterfeits
  14. You would not believe the number of knock-offs of popular brands that exist out there! It is crazy! And those are usually the products that are offered at exorbitant, unbelievable discounts because they are fake. After all, no luxury product can really be at 90% off for real. It is impossible!

    That is why one of the shopping safety tips for teens we recommend is sticking to reputed retailers or brand websites only so you know you are getting the real deal. Prevents wasting your money (and probably compromising your identity) on fakes online.

  15. Do not believe all the reviews 
  16. We know that reviews are one of the things you put your faith in before buying anything online. Reviews, after all, can be a proof of credibility. But are they? There is something called paid reviews and endorsements that happen online, which means the review you are basing your purchase on is probably fake.

    Instead, in depth reviews that are not sponsored by the brand will likely be honest and based on real user experience, so those are the ones you should believe.

  17. Know your rights 
  18. A shopping safety tip for teens you might not know about is that as a consumer, you have certain rights which online shopping sites are not allowed to violate. And if they do in any shape or form without your consent, you have every right to take action against them. You can file a case in consumer’s court in case of fraudulent activities, and you can also block your cards by calling your bank if you suspect unauthorised transactions.

  19. Be vigilant
  20. And keep yourself informed of the latest scams that arise so you can prevent yourself from falling prey to hackers and scammers online.

Shopping online is a super convenient thing but it can turn into a nightmare if you and your teen do not follow the online shopping safety tips we have laid out for you. For more such informative content, be sure to visit the blogs section of EuroSchool.

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