Safe online shopping guidelines:
Does the webshop use secure communication?
Most legitimate webshops use an SSL certificate to make communication with the webshop safer. This is clearly shown by the “https” in front of the webshop address and a green “lock” should be visible (depending on the browser. This is a sign that encrypted communication is being used.
Is the web shop professional?
Is the web shop clearly translated by a computer? Does it contain spelling mistakes and is the grammar not in order? These are all signs for a potential fake web shop.
Check the legal documentation
A professional web shop will have terms and conditions and a privacy statement in place. This is a sign that the web shop is serious. In these legal terms you can check your rights, your rights when you like to return a product. Instructions on how to do that, etc.
Get in contact
You can easily check if the company states a phone number, as an email (form) and is active on social media. Call the company if in doubt or send it a request for more information via email or social email. A professional web shop usually replies within hours or a maximum of two working days depending on the medium.
Visit company registries
Every country will have different registries but for the Netherlands you can easily check at Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Are Safe payment methods offered?
There are many kinds of payment methods. In general IDEAL, credit cards, PayPay, etc. offer consumer protection by allowing consumers to get their money back in case the product is not delivered. Check if the web shop supports these payment methods. Never transfer money to a bank account if you have doubts about the reliability of a web shop.
Webshops often provide the service to create an account. Just like all other passwords you use online, use a strong one.
Never give your login credentials to others. In case you are aware that others are aware of your login details, change your password immediately.
Be aware of so called phishing e-mails. These are e-mails will look almost identical to the webshop mails or will match the style but are sent by internet criminals. The purpose of these e-mails to retrieve your personal details and login credentials. If you are in doubt, do not click on any link or respond to the e-mail. Just contact the webshop.
Use your common sense
Are deals too good to be true? Most likely they will indeed not be true. So if you see a new Iphone for EUR 200,- you better think twice about the authenticity of the webshop.