There’s no sign that the online market is losing its momentum and popularity. In fact, more and more consumers are resorting to online shopping for their needs and wants. From their day-to-day grocery items, medicines, clothing, novelty items, services, to auto supplies, they are using the Internet to buy the stuff they need.

If you are one of thousands of consumers worldwide who is big fan of shopping online for auto parts like mag wheels, headlights, side mirror, braking system, and whatnot, this article is a must-read.

While there are many legitimate and honest online shops, there are dishonest and deceptive ones as well. In order to preserve your good online shopping experience and to protect your money, it is a must that you familiarize yourself with pointers that will help you stay away from dishonest online merchants.

The following are some of the most basic yet useful tips recommended by IT and online marketing specialists that you could follow to have a safe online:

1. Shop at reliable websites – Use to websites that are popular and known for their reliability. As much as possible, do stay away from online shops that just pop up out from nowhere because they may not be as credible and reliable as their more established counterparts. Avoid shopping in websites that you only have accessed through popup ads or those websites found in the later result pages of search engine sites.

2. Shop only at websites with SSL – IT experts strongly warn online consumers about buying items or paying for services from websites that do not have reliable security features. Never even attempt to use your credit card in a website that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed in it. It is easy to detect whether or not a website has SSL encryption. Websites with such encryption will have “HTTPS://” instead of “HTTP://” on its URL. Also, such website will display a locked padlock icon on the address bar, or right next to the its URL.

3. Do not give your credit card number via email – It is a fatal mistake to give to anyone your credit card number. If the online seller is asking you to send your credit card number and other related personal and financial information to their email, do not even think about doing it. When you give such crucial information, they can easily use it for their own financial benefit, which will leave you with undeserved credit.

4. Regularly check your credit card statements – Always monitor your credit card statements to detect whether or not the company you dealt with has charged with you hidden charges. One common fraudulent act done by fake merchants is that they do not show you charges when you first deal with them, but after few weeks or months, they will charge you with undisclosed charges.

5. Do not give your password to anyone – This may be a no-brainer but believe it or not, many instances of hacking are done because of failing to do this. Aside from not disclosing your password to anyone, you must also have a strong password combination. Do not even think about using the most basic ones like “12356” or “abcdef” instead use alphanumeric codes to make it impossible for others to guess your combination.

6. Read reviews and feedbacks online – If you are not certain whether or not the company you are supposed to deal with is legitimate, then resort to clients’ reviews and feedbacks. Do a background check on the company you are planning to buy your mag wheels or other car parts from. By doing this, you can be certain that that company is honest and reliable.

Do you do all of these guides when you go online shopping for auto parts? If not, then you should practice doing them the next time you buy your car parts, and you will surely have a safer and more convenient shopping experience.