You may be happy that things are looking good for America these days. With nearly half of the total population fully vaccinated, everyone should be in good spirits in time for the Fourth of July celebrations.
But let’s face it, it’s not easy enjoying the outdoors after months of lockdowns and heart-shattering news. Shops can still feel like they’re a thousand miles away compared to the time before the virus plagued America. For one, you’d have to contend with queues and the fear of knowing somebody else had been using the carts before you. Even with the vaccine and all, you can’t just erase the shopping phobias you’ve developed in a snap of a finger as you navigate social distancing.
In this regard, online shopping can indeed be a boon for everyone, seniors most especially. But unlike millennials who are digital natives, the aging population may not be as lucky. Not only are they a step late in the internet revolution, but they also may be physically challenged, given their age. Small wonder unscrupulous individuals have targeted seniors in various online scams.
The good news is there are tried-and-tested steps you can take as a senior to ensure you’re online transactions are safe and sound. Listed below are pointers from the experts, especially for seniors.
Research Retailers Before You Buy
There’s no doubt Amazon leads the pack when it comes to online ordering. Not only is the Jeff Bezos-led behemoth top of the line when it comes to ordering protocols, but also it has a robust returns’ policy. So doing business with Amazon is basically a safe practice. It’s no accident 89% of American buyers would choose the online giant’s quality of service.
The problem is when you decide to venture into smaller online sellers. It’s important, therefore, that you do your due diligence and a bit of research. When you choose specialty shops online, taking into consideration, online reviews should be wise. Additionally, one should look for the following details in the online business before ordering:
- Robust product information of the items
- Office address and contact numbers on the website
- Current reviews from other online customers
Of course, there are legit specialty shops that have been servicing America for years now. And this can mean a lot of fun for you. A good example here is paper crafting. With an established online supplier, you should be confident of receiving your monthly scrapbook subscription box without any issue whatsoever.
Check the Return Policy
Well, even the best intentions fail. There’s a reason why Amazon has an impressive returns policy. For best results, make sure the shop’s return policy is clear as crystal. Check if you can return your order within 30 days from purchase.
Also, don’t forget to check the fine print if shipping charges are taken care of without questions. The rule of thumb is the stabler the business, the better the return policy.
Check Website Security Before Ordering
Before you even think of ordering, check the website is secure. To boot, take a closer look at the URL at the top of the page. Is it in the HTTPS format? If so, that can only mean the website can be trusted as your sensitive data (credit card, address, etc.) won’t be easily hacked.
Use a Credit Card
If there’s a way for you to be as secure as ever, then using a credit card is top of that list. If, by any chance, your account transaction has been compromised, the credit card company won’t charge you for unauthorized charges. You can still pose a dispute with the bank to have those charges reversed. When that happens, your credit limit won’t be adversely affected.
Never use for online purchases your debit card in this regard. Though debit cards are also protected, the process is not as advantageous as a credit card. A thief may make the most of your account money with a debit card and get away with it. Once the account is drained, it will take some time before your account will be credited. The bank will have to double-check first, and that can take weeks, if not months.
Never Entertain Email Spam
Social engineering can be used to make you click an email. You could be informed by text that a government agency is checking your bank account, and you need to access an email sent so your funds would stay intact. Once you click that spam email, unscrupulous merchants could be granted access to your accounts.
The best way to prevent untoward intrusion is to never entertain emails from senders you don’t know anything about. It’s harsh, but as the saying goes, better safe than sorry.
With these ideas in mind, older adults can ensure that they shop online without encountering problems or scams. Then, buying something by themselves won’t be such a daunting task.