Today, buying online is the way to go. You have a great collection of things to buy. Plus, you can bargain. The shipping is fast and security is high. You can even return the products that are damaged.

As a matter of fact, shopping is a lot easier today. However, those who are unfamiliar with how the online buying works may be an easy target for cyber criminals who steal money from people through phishing frauds and other tricks. Given below are a few tips to buy online safely. Read on.

1. Use Familiar Websites

If you have never purchased from an online store before, we suggest that you start at an online store that is trusted all over the world. For instance, you can buy at Amazon. This is one of the biggest online stores of the world where you can buy anything. Other good names include Home Depot, Best Buy and Target, just to name a few. Make sure type the correct URL of the site.

2. Look for the SSL Lock

It's a good idea to stay away from a website that doesn't have the SSL encryption. For instance, if the website URL begins with HTTPS instead of HTTP, you can buy from it safely. Moreover, the website URL will have a locked padlock in it. Another important thing is that you must never send your credit card information through email.

3. Don't Give too much information

Reliable online stores never ask for a buyer's birthday or social security number. If a scammer gets your credit card number and social security number, be ready to suffer a big loss. With this information, it will be a lot easier for them to steal your identity. If possible, make sure you give the least information when buying online.

4. Check Statements

Check your credit card statements on a regular basis. Make sure the statements don't have any fraudulent charges. If you notice something unusual, make sure you call the bank immediately to get the matter resolved. If you are going to buy with a credit card, make sure the charges are accurate.

5. Scan Your PC

Make sure you have an anti-virus program installed on your computer. This is important if you want protection against malware. The anti-virus should be the most recent version.

6. Use Strong Passwords

Make sure your password is a non-dictionary word. It shouldn't be an easy to guess term. It is even more important when you are going to buy online. If possible, use a combination of letters and numbers. You passwords should be over 8 letters.

7. Avoid Public Terminals

It's not a good idea to use a public computer in order to buy something from an online store. But if you have to use a public terminal, make sure you sign out after each session. This is equally important even if you went online just to check your email inbox.