Shop Smart: 5 Safety Tips for Online Shopping

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Dec 15, 2020 8:00:00 AM | 4 minute read

shutterstock_121893277 (1)

The way we shop has evolved over the last several years. For many, gone are the days of piling into the family car and spending an entire day at the mall or shopping outlets (taking a break only for a soft pretzel) as these trips were usually far and few between.Today, you can go shopping in the comfort of your home while wearing your pajamas and watching TV. You can go shopping while waiting in the doctor’s office. Anywhere you have a device, you can go shopping. Most of the time, you can often get your products delivered in just a few days, sometimes even the same day. 

It’s no doubt that online shopping has made life easier and more convenient, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with anything online, especially shopping, there come additional risks and vulnerabilities. With a few simple safety tips, though, you can become a savvy and safe online shopper! 

Senior Solutions Management Group offers all-inclusive senior living throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and South Carolina. We encourage older adults to use technology in their everyday lives and want to share some online shopping safety tips so you can shop smart, safe, and secure. 

1. Use Reputable Sites 

When looking for anything online, make sure that you’re shopping on familiar, reputable sites. Most major retailers like Target, Barnes & Noble, and Home Depot have online stores, so it’s typically not difficult to shop at a website that you recognize rather than one you’ve never heard of before. And of course, Amazon sells just about anything you can think of—just make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller if it’s not sold directly through Amazon. 

Senior Solutions Bonus Tip: 

In addition to making sure a website is reputable, make sure it is also secure. You can tell that a website is secure when there’s a small padlock icon on the side of the URL bar, or the URL itself contains “https.” If you don’t see either of these things, do not use your credit card on the website. 

2. Create Strong Passwords

Creating a strong, unique password is crucial for anything that you do online. From shopping to banking to social media, having a strong password (that you change regularly) is essential in keeping your accounts safe and secure. It’s especially important to keep your accounts on e-Commerce sites safe as they store your billing information and shipping address. 

Senior Solutions Bonus Tip: 

Some computers have the option to save or “autofill” passwords. We don’t recommend doing this, as anyone with access to your computer could easily get into your accounts. Instead, use a password management system that stores your passwords in a secure location. This way, you only have to remember that password for the system itself.

3. Read Reviews 

Any experienced online shopper will tell you that reading the customer reviews is extremely valuable when buying things online. Instead of a company trying to sell a product, customer reviews offer honest, relevant guidance to help in decision-making. They shed light on the quality of the product or service, reliability of the company, and overall satisfaction. 

Senior Solutions Bonus Tip: 

Read a combination of good, bad, and average reviews. Doing so will help give you a more realistic view of the product or service. 

4. Check Statements Regularly 

Be sure to frequently check your bank accounts and credit card statements to ensure that all the charges are accurate. Keep an eye out for any unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or charges that don’t match the price you paid while checking out. If you notice anything suspicious, call your bank or credit card company immediately, and don’t pay your credit card bill if there are unauthorized charges. 

Senior Solutions Bonus Tip: 

If possible, you should always make purchases online with a credit card—not a debit card. Doing this is important in keeping your funds safe and secure, and credit card charges tend to be easier to dispute should an error occur in billing.

5. Read The Small Print 

It can be tempting to get sucked into how convenient online shopping is, especially with features like Amazon’s “1-Click Shopping.” While this is easy to fall for, don’t forget to read all the information available (yes, including the terms and conditions). Reading the small text can help you understand more about the product itself—like proper dimensions for a table or if the plant is included with the pot—but it can also help you understand the company’s return policy, shipping times, and other important information. 

Senior Solutions Bonus Tip: 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the retailer or seller if you have questions or complaints. Sometimes your package will get lost in the mail, be delivered damaged, or be the wrong thing you ordered. While it can be intimidating to reach out, the vast majority of times, the company will work with you to make it right. 

Get Shopping! 

Online shopping can be convenient and fun (and sometimes, even addicting!). While it may seem complicated to remember the various online safety and cybersecurity tips, just a few simple steps and practices can ensure you’re shopping safely and wisely. Once you get the hang of online shopping safely, you can shop ‘til you drop—from home! 

Senior Solutions Management Group provides a variety of care and all-inclusive senior living services to older adults. In each of our communities, we encourage the use of technology to make our residents’ lives easier and more connected. We encourage you to reach out for more information about our services, our approach to care, and our communities!

Topics: Safety, Finances and Insurance

Simplicity At Its Finest

Our Senior Solutions blog aims to provide news and articles to help you along your senior living journey. Subscribe today and receive new blog posts right to your inbox!

  • Health & Nutrition Tips
  • Caregiver Resources
  • Senior Living News

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts