Safe online shopping - what to look out for

Safe online shopping - what to look out for

Online shopping has become a convenient and efficient way of shopping. Making purchases online is convenient and allows shoppers to discover products from around the world. It is important to shop safely online - after all, online shopping involves the disclosure of sensitive information that needs to be protected. Before making a purchase, buyers should always check the online store in order to protect sensitive data and avoid fraud.

Shop safely online and avoid dangers on the Internet

Online shopping harbors a wide variety of risks that can not only have an immediate impact, but can also affect the inattentive shopper long after the purchase has been made. Most fake stores lure customers with attractive offers and pictures of products. After the sale, the goods are usually not delivered at all or are delivered in an inferior or falsified condition. In some cases, such fraudulent stores are closed after a few transactions, leaving customers with little chance of reclaiming their money.

Another strategy is data theft. This involves stealing sensitive information such as credit card details, addresses, telephone numbers and sometimes even social security numbers. In most cases, the data obtained is misused for various criminal activities and can, for example, be used as part of identity theft to take out loans or make further purchases. Phishing attacks (What is phishing?) can also be carried out using stolen information, whereby even more sensitive data is usually captured. A sale to third parties is also possible, whereby unwanted personalized advertising can be displayed.

How to recognize fake shops & shop safely online

In order to avoid fraud and data theft, it is crucial to shop securely online and to detect fake shops in time. There are several warning signs that may indicate that an online shop is not reputable:

· Missing imprint: The law stipulates that every online shop must have an imprint. This contains information on the address, the authorized representative, email address, contact information and the commercial register number. If this information is missing or the imprint is missing completely, no purchases should be made.

· Missing encryption: Trusted websites use https, not http. With https, the data between the browser and the website is encrypted, which protects visitors' personal information. If the browser does not display a closed lock symbol in the address bar when visiting the site, users should never enter sensitive information, as this can be viewed and intercepted by third parties.

· Limited payment options: This is another warning sign, especially if the online store only offers payment in advance. Reputable shops usually offer a variety of payment options, including payment by credit card, PayPal and invoice.

· Customer reviews: Fake shops often use fake reviews to present themselves as trustworthy. If the reviews are overly positive, single-line or contain many errors, caution is advised.

Shopping safely online means developing an attentive eye for the warning signs. A correspondingly cautious approach to media is important in many respects and not only protects users when shopping online, but also ensures more privacy on the Internet in general.

Safe online shopping: the payment method makes the difference

When shoppers want to shop safely online, they should always be aware of the security of the different payment methods. Each payment method has specific risks and benefits that should be weighed against when buying online.

Payment in advance

Payment in advance is a common method that is often used for international orders in particular. The problem here is that payment is made before the goods are delivered. If the goods are not delivered, as in the case of a fake store, it can be difficult to obtain a refund. Buyers should only opt for payment in advance if the seller is trustworthy.

Credit card

Payment by credit card is a proven method, most credit cards have buyer protection, which provides protection against fraud. In addition, the purchase is set to a two-factor authentication, so transactions can only be carried out by an authorization of the card owner. The credit card is therefore a good way to shop safely online.


Buying on account is a secure method of online shopping in that payment is only made once the buyer has received the goods. This minimizes the risk of fraud, as no payment is made if the goods do not arrive.

Direct debit

Payment by direct debit is a convenient method, but it gives the seller direct access to the account. This may sound unsafe at first, but it is safe insofar as customers can reclaim payment in the event of an incorrect or fraudulent debit. Nevertheless, direct debits should be checked regularly with this option.

Online payment services (PayPal/Klarna)

Payment via online payment services such as PayPal or Klarna is not only convenient, but also a secure method for online shopping. Account details do not usually have to be entered again, which prevents data theft. In addition, these services usually have buyer protection, which offers protection against fraud and undelivered goods.

Safe online shopping - on websites with quality seals

Quality seals are intended to guarantee the trustworthiness of online stores and identify them as reputable and secure. The identification takes place through a certificate, which is usually clearly visible on the respective page. On such sites it is possible to shop safely online, as long as the quality seal is genuine. The Trusted Shops seal is the best-known quality seal in Germany. It stands for good customer service, compliance with legal regulations, secure payment and a high level of data protection.

In order to be able to shop safely online, it is crucial that the seal is genuine. For example, to check this, users can click on the seal - this should redirect to the page of the issuer. Alternatively, you can also visit the website of the issuer and check whether the online shop is really certified.

Shopping safely online means first and foremost being vigilant. Especially on the Internet, an awareness of security, data protection and privacy is of crucial importance. Data is an important asset and should be treated as such. For more anonymity, users can surf anonymously with a VPN and use an anonymous search engine. These are simple solutions for improved privacy on the Internet.