TECH BYTE: Tips for Safe Online Shopping

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s time to start your back-to-school shopping if you haven’t already.

If you didn’t find what your kid needed in the store over the tax free weekend, you might have better luck online.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be careful when it comes to shopping online. Not just now when looking for school supplies, but year-round.

It’s a lot easier to get ripped off if you’re not doing it in person.

With so many ads everywhere, it’s easy to click on one, and fall for a “deal,” or a free shipping promise on a fake website.

The BBB says if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Experts also warn, what you see online is not always what you get.

The product could be poor quality, or it may not even exist at all!

To check if the website’s legit, see if it’s missing contact information.

Also make sure the site is secure. The web address should start with https://.

The BBB says if it doesn’t, that’s another red flag.

Take your time shopping. Read the fine print, and check the shop’s return policy.

It also helps to read the site’s privacy policy, and see how your personal information could be used.

The Better Business Bureau says the website could be a scam if it doesn’t even have one.

Experts add, when checking your e-mail, be on the lookout for any phishing messages. Double check that you’re not clicking on a link that could put you at risk for malware or identity theft.

It’s also a good idea to shop with a credit card instead of a debit card, in case there’s a fraudulent transaction.

It’s a lot easier to dispute a charge on your credit card, and get your money back if necessary.

And finally, make sure to keep any documentation of your order, as well, in case you need it later on if there’s an issue!

One more thing – Don’t forget to install anti-virus software on your computer, and always make sure it’s updated.

For more tips from the Better Business Bureau, go to

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology