9 Safe Online Shopping Tips in India

E-commerce has changed the landscape of shopping in India. From groceries to apparel and personal care products to high-end electronics, you can have everything delivered to your doorstep in 24 hours or less! Last year 108 million consumers shopped online in India and that number is expected to swell to 120 million this year. To put things into perspective, that is almost equivalent to the entire population of Mexico!

While shopping online is fast and convenient, it puts you at risk of being scammed through identity/data theft and financial fraud. Let’s take a look at nine things to keep in mind for a safe online shopping experience.

  • Don’t recycle passwords and pin numbers: The primary guard is to ensure that you don’t use the same passwords across portals. Keep your passwords complex and unrelated to your personal details. If you use your Debit or Credit Cards to shop online regularly, do change your pin number every 3 months. The same should be followed for digital wallets like PayZapp or HDFC Bank MobileApp. If you find it difficult to remember all your passwords and pin numbers, there are management tools that can ease things for you.
  • Opt for different user IDs: Again, it might be a hassle to remember, but keeping different user details reduces the chances of data theft and spamming. Try adding the portal’s name to yours to create a unique user ID. For example [name+site@e-mail.com] rubyamazon@gmail.com In case you do receive spam, you can identify where the data theft happened.
  • Stick with familiar names: Though not fool-proof, large businesses offer better security systems and usually deal only with vendors whose credentials have been verified.
  • Avoid clicking on email hyperlinks: Scamsters try to lure people with unbelievable deals in your inbox, known as ‘phishing’. The links could redirect you to potentially fake websites that may replicate the feel and design of common shopping portals.
  • Verify the source credibility: Any e-commerce retailer worth their salt would have a highly encrypted web presence on a secure server. Look for the ‘secure’ sign on the address bar, right before the URL, to see if the site is safe for transacting. Even when downloading apps from vendors, ensure that the app is verified by the Google Play Store or App Store.
  • Use trustworthy bank payment options wherever possible: Banks, for obvious reasons, incorporate some very sophisticated security measures. With HDFC Bank NetBanking you know you’re browsing over a secure page. With Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer Certificate (EVSSLC), which works with all major browsers, HDFC Bank customers get a clear visual indication in the form of a green address bar that certifies the authenticity of the website. Apps like PayZapp and the HDFC Bank MobileApp, comes with security features that constantly get upgraded against evolving and trending threats. Even HDFC Bank Credit Cards and Debit Cards come with the latest state of the art security features to ensure that your no data is compromised.
  • Install antivirus software: Not just your laptop or computer, you need malware protection for your smartphone too. With handheld devices becoming a preferred mode of shopping, the risk of being conned is high. Cheats can even duplicate your SIM,  Account, Credit or Debit Card details now!
  • Be cautious on social media: Social media platforms have given new avenues for small resellers and individual businesses to promote and generate business through mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Though a majority are honest outfits, it is very easy for scammers to create fake profiles and use misleading pictures and videos to dupe you with the promise of good products.
  • Review bank statements regularly: It is possible to be scammed and not even know it. Reviewing your bank statement periodically ensures that you can bring any fraudulent transaction to your bank’s attention immediately, enhancing the chance of remedying the situation. If you regularly use your cards to shop, do check your activity alerts on it.

Through its NetBanking platform, HDFC Bank employs the latest technology in intrusion prevention and anti-malware security systems for your protection. It has also extended this security features to its Credit Card, Debit Card and apps such as MobileBank App and PayZapp for safe payment transactions.

All transactions have to be validated with additional authentication, either via an OTP or a ‘challenge question’. Allowing access via a virtual keyboard, insta-alerts, mobile number masking, time-stipulated online sessions, and 24x7 security monitoring to ensure your credentials are safe every time you shop online.

It is imperative to have a banking partner that treats your personal and financial security with utmost importance – and HDFC Bank does just that!

Read more about the benefits of digital wallet and why you should be using it right now!

* The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.