Online Shopping Safety Tips You Need to Know

Online Shopping Safety Tips | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors

Hungry? Use your food delivery app to order your favorite pizza. Want to buy a gadget or a new pair of shoes? Browse your trusted online shops and see their latest promos. Sending a gift to your mom for her birthday? Book a courier and have it shipped at her doorstep. Need to replenish your groceries but you would rather stay home? Just add to cart, check out your essentials, and you are good to go!

Online shopping and deliveries continue to thrive nowadays especially during a global pandemic when people are encouraged to shelter in place to reduce the spread of the virus. Instead of going from aisle to aisle with our big trolleys, we shifted to scrolling e-commerce sites to fill our shopping carts with the goods we want to buy. Many owners of physical stores have also taken their businesses virtually to adapt to the changing times.

Consumers are drawn to the quick, easy, and hassle-free experience of purchasing online. You do not have to brave the weekend traffic or line up with the crowd in public places just to get the things you want. No need to find a parking space in malls or to dress up nicely before going out. The products may also be more affordable than those sold in big shopping centers – plus there are plenty of enticing bargains offered by online sellers.

Online Shopping Safety Things To Remember | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Add to Cart Safety Tips | Photo from Cottonbro in Pexels

Convenience is the name of the game in this business. With just a few clicks, you can have access to a wide selection of products, find the best prices and quality, read customer reviews, and enjoy fast shipping while lounging on your couch. In most cases, you may even opt for contactless deliveries to minimize exposure between customers and riders. And of course, it is hard to resist the attractive deals that can be availed during major sale events. No wonder, a lot of us are becoming so hooked with online retail therapy!

There is, however, a drawback to these plethora of online shopping perks. The risk of getting preyed on by scammers, hackers and identity thieves becomes very prevalent with the boom of e-commerce, so we always must be extra vigilant in our online transactions. Before hitting that ‘add to cart’ button, take note of these precautions to shop and transact online safely.

Shop from Reputable Sellers

Don’t forget to make your own background check before doing any transaction virtually. How do you choose a trustworthy and legitimate e-commerce merchant? You may want to inquire first if your favorite local store or major retail outlet has an online shop. It can give you reassurance of the brand’s authenticity and the quality of the product you want to purchase.

You can even call the hotline or go directly to the physical store if there are any concerns about the item. Ask your friends or family about their go-to online shop and see if it fits your needs and taste.

Shop Online from Reputable Sellers | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Shop Online from Reputable Sellers | Photo from Brooke Lark in Unsplash

You could also read the honest reviews, forums, reports, blogs, comments, and testimonials of other people who bought from these e-shops or availed of their services before. See if they are highly rated and if most of the customers’ feedback is positive. If you have inquiries, consider if the seller replies in a timely manner.

Be meticulous, look for other proof of their previous transactions – some retailers share screenshots of their exchange of messages with satisfied customers. And of course, trust your instincts especially when you encounter certain red flags like unfavorable (or zero) reviews and dubious websites.

Use Secure or Encrypted Websites

Do not make any online purchase from a site without verifying if it has SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed to avoid having your private information compromised while shopping.

Before entering your passwords or credit card details, check first the web address and make sure that it starts with ”https” instead of just ”http.” The ”s” indicates that the website is secure and encrypted to keep your data private and protected. Always look for the locked padlock symbol in the address bar beside the website address.

Shop Online from Secure Websites | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Shop Online from Secure Websites | Photo from Pixabay in Pexels

Do not skip checking the privacy policy statement of the merchants (even if it is a bit lengthy!) so that you will be aware of how they handle your personal details. Another useful tip is to have antivirus and anti-malware software installed in your computer, and regularly keep them up to date. And do not click pop-up ads or open attachments from unknown senders to avoid phishing scams!

Beware of Deals that are Too Good to be True

Just saw an eye-popping advertisement offering a brand-new iPhone 12 Pro Max for only 8,000 pesos. Or a pair of Air Jordan sneakers for just 1,500 pesos? Dream of deals like these can be very enticing but suspicious, too.

Do not be deceived by unbelievably huge discounts and plenty of freebies. Always use your common sense and be critical of outrageous offers. You do not want to fall victim to a scam while hunting for bargains that appear to be too good to be true.

Too Good to be True Shopping Offers Online | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Too Good to be True Shopping Offers Online | Photo from Tammana Rumee in Unsplash

Consequently, you may end up buying a fake, damaged or imitation item. You also would not want to purchase a cheap product at the expense of having your personal information stolen. To get the actual goods that you’re paying for, take time to carefully read the product description as well as the terms and conditions.

Watch out for misleading claims, and do not be shy to inquire about the details to the seller. Ask for the actual picture of the item that you are buying and examine closely. Don’t forget to check if there are additional charges or hidden costs to your purchase.

Avoid Using Public WIFI When Making a Purchase

Imagine browsing the Internet cozily in your favorite restaurant while waiting for your brunch buddies, and you suddenly chanced upon a promo fare to your dream destination. It can be really tempting to book your flight right away because of the seat sale, but is it safe to do that if you are using a public WIFI?

Connecting to an unsecured WIFI may compromise your financial information to hackers who can grab the chance to spy on your online activity, track your info and steal your credit card number. Using a VPN (virtual private network) or your own smartphone as a personal hotspot is recommended. So, if you are really in a rush, you may want to switch to your mobile data or better yet, wait until you get home to your private and secure network before making any payment or doing other transactions that involve access to sensitive information.

Avoid Public WIFI | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Avoid Public WIFI | Photo from Petter Lagson in Unsplash

Avoid shopping online and entering your passwords or bank details using free WIFI—in a hotel lobby, mall, or coffee shop, for example—or public computers like the ones in an Internet café or airport lounge. If you cannot help but surf the net in a nearby computer shop, remember to log out all your accounts before leaving and delete the browsing history. However, it is still best to use your own laptop or device for your protection.

Choose Strong Passwords

For every e-commerce site that you are using, create a unique password – something that cannot be easily guessed by others. Do not use your birthday, the name of your dog, your favorite team, your personal information, or predictable sequences like “12345678” for your online accounts or shopping websites.

Use Strong Password | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Use Strong Password | Photo from Dan Nelson in Unsplash

A strong password consists of a complex combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols, and it is at least 8 characters long—the more characters, the better. Do not use words that can easily be found in the dictionary. Do not write them down either. To prevent hackers from cracking your passwords, change them frequently. Your password must also be different from those you previously used on another account or platform.

In case of data breach, you don’t want cyberthieves to gain access over all your accounts. Keep your passwords confidential; never share them with anyone else.

Use a Safe and Reliable Payment Method

Before checking out the items in your cart, ensure that your payment method offers you buyer protection in case of fraud or scam in your online transactions. Wiring money directly to the seller’s bank account prior to receiving the product is quite a risky thing to do. It might be hard to get your money back if the item did not arrive or if you encountered a problem with it. Using your credit card instead of a debit card is a safer way to shop online because it gives you the opportunity to dispute the charges.

This also applies if someone tries to make an unauthorized use of your account info to purchase something. You can call your credit card provider to file a complaint, and if it is proven after the investigation that a transaction is fraudulent, the amount can be refunded to you. You may even get notified by the bank or credit card company if ever they detect suspicious activity. Do not forget to check your credit card statements regularly to make sure there is no unauthorized activity in your account.

Shop Online with Safe Payment Method | Affordable Condo Philippines | Camella Manors
Shop Online with Safe Payment Method | Photo from Paul Felberbauer in Unsplash

It may be harder to get back your money if you are using a debit card because it does not give the same security protection. Fraudsters may even gain easy access to your bank funds once your debit card gets compromised. As an alternative, you can use online payment services like PayPal or GCash so you don’t have to enter your actual card details. Or pick the COD (cash-on-delivery) option so that you only need to pay once the items have been shipped to you.

Aside from browsing your trusted online shopping sites and delivery apps to purchase groceries, clothes and gadgets while staying at home, you can also use the Internet to search for your next real estate investment in the metropolis such as an affordable condo for sale in Caloocan. For your convenience and safety, Camella Manors offers an efficient online reservation process, where the completion of reservation forms and payment of reservation fee can be done virtually.

Interested to Shop a Resort-themed Condo Online?

Discover the new side of Caloocan City! Camella Manors Caloocan, a resort-style condo, is the first mixed-use condo development in North Caloocan strategically located at the heart of Camarin Road.

The 2.5-hectare project has five residential towers with 15 storeys each. This pre-selling condo in Caloocan also has its own commercial complex and functional amenities like swimming pool, clubhouse, function hall, fitness gym, playpark, jogging path, garden roofdeck and 24/7 security.

This condo for sale is also accessible to lifestyle centers, business hubs and other major establishments in the city.

Camella Manors Caloocan is only two minutes away from Caloocan City North Medical Center, 10 minutes away from SM City Fairview and Ayala Fairview Terraces and 10 minutes away from National University Fairview and Our Lady of Fatima University-Lagro.

Resort Condo in Caloocan - Camella Manors
Pre Selling Resort-themed Condo in Caloocan | Camella Manors Caloocan

The residents can conveniently commute to other parts of Metro Manila by soon having access to the Metro Rail Transit Line 7. Once the railway project is finished, Camella Manors Caloocan will just be 15 minutes away from the Mindanao Avenue Station of MRT-7, which will link North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

If you are looking for a property investment in the Philippines, Camella Manors Caloocan is a great choice due to its strategic location in the National Capital Region which offers a lot of business opportunities. Since the residential property is nestled in one of the most populous cities in the country, the property’s market value is potentially high.

Caloocan is a highly urbanized city that is considered as a preferred settlement in Metro Manila because of its growing industrial and commercial centers, not to mention its big residential area. Its proximity to the Philippines’ capital city (Manila) is also an advantage.

Camella Manors Caloocan is offering studio units at 23.76 sq.m. and 28.55 sq.m. and one bedroom-type units at 30.36 sq.m.

Please click here for additional information and inquiries about the property. An on-site or online tour of the pre-selling condo unit can also be scheduled to further discuss the important details.

Come home to Camella Manors Caloocan now!

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