Risk of online shopping

The Singles’ Day or double eleven is an unofficial holiday and shopping season in China that celebrates bachelors and single person. In 1993, 4 male students of Nanjing University’s all single men dorm were discussing on how to stop being single and then agreed on celebrating November 11 as a day in honor of being single. The influence of the events and activities on November 11 were spread through the university and society, which was further enhanced with social media use. It has become the largest online shopping day in the world.

November 11 has become an excuse for online shopping in Malaysia like other shopping carnivals. There are lots of promotions and discounts going on to attract younger consumers who spent most of their time online. Online shopping has become the trend because of convenience but the risk accompanied should never be neglected.

First, the quality of products is doubted because you cannot examine it physically or try it on before making payment and waiting for it to reach your shipping address. The descriptions and photos provided are subjected to lighting, angle and other issues that may cause inaccuracies between expectation and reality. The materials especially cannot be verified online unless it is an official flag store. The difference in price for the same product from one store to another is sometimes too big that it is difficult to choose the reasonable price and store. This is sometimes confusing. The descriptions may be different from store to store for the same product too. After a long wait for shipping, when you finally get the product and find out the quality is unacceptable, it will be really frustrating. The process of refund and return is also troublesome and slow in progress.

Secondly, the potentially rough delivery process might damage the product and package. The damaged item received needs to go through a long process of refunding and often does not receive a positive response. The cost for returning and refunding may not worth it.

Thirdly, identity theft which your personal information was stolen and abused to make personal purchases. Spams or junk mails that offer free gifts and emails that seem to be sent from bank or online store that ask for your personal information. Those are all traps to steal your personal details.

Next, customers have sometimes been redirected to malicious user’s site instead of the legitimate payment portal after paying for the products of purchase. The page was made identical to the payment portal of the online shopping site to confuse you. The credit card details are then stolen and used for themselves.

Therefore, note the lock symbol in the address bar on the websites that indicates that the site is using a secure protocol for sharing information in an encrypted way. The https:// at the beginning of the URL means that the personal information you enter remains safe. Checking on the reviews, history of customer service and reputation of the online store is important. If the site or email makes a request for your personal information, never send as they said.