Safe Surfing & Consumer Protection on the Internet

These are some important points you should keep in mind whilst using online services:
  1. Know Who You’re Dealing With: A genuine, trustworthy website should have no problem in disclosing it’s exact physical location, Postal Address, telephone number or e-mail address, just like any other legitimate business. Website certifications and independent validations are very useful in this regard, as they should contain the required information. A site that has been correctly certified offers a much higher degree of protection than a non-certified site. A certification programme such as Websitepromtek’s, will verify the identity and genuiness of a website before it is certified.
  2. Credibility with your visitor: Today’s online consumers are aware and well informed. Your visitors will discern the difference between a competitor website which has not been independently validated, or whose certification only offers partial details and your own website, whose complete details have been verified by us.
  3. Contact Information: As mentioned above, contact information is very important, not only for the above mentioned reasons, but a site that avoids providing this information is telling you that they may not be easy to contact in case you need future assistance.

    Some website deliberately omit their e-mail addresses from their WebPages for fear of this being picked up by spammers. This is a legitimate concern, however, there are simple methods to overcome this risk.

  4. Acquaint yourself with the Terms and Policies: Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the deal. Again a trustworthy website won’t have problem in displaying these. Find out if there is a returns or exchange policy.
  5. Privacy Protection: Is the website you are dealing with committed to protecting your privacy? If so, is this clearly stated in their privacy policy? Be aware that, typically, merchants collect information about their customers. The website's privacy policies should be easy to locate and clearly stated.
  6. Online credit card safety: Whilst using your credit card online, there are severed critical points that you must ensure: a. If the merchant website uses a third party secure payment gateway, e.g. Paypal, Google Checkout, CC Avenue etc, then the merchant itself is NOT authorised to collect your credit card details. These are to be processed by the payment gateway alone. b. Only conduct online credit card transactions over a secure serer, preferably with SSL (secure socket layer) technology. This will be indicated by an ‘https://’ prefix in the URL appearing in your browser address bar. All major secure payment gateways will have a valid SSL certificate. c. You should never be required to e-mail your credit card details to a merchant.
  7. Redressing complaints: Who do you contact if you have a complaint? Does your merchant offer third party mediation to resolve disputes? A third party mediator, such as is a forum through which outstanding issues can be impartially mediated. However, complying with any decision is finally at the discretion of both parties.
  8. Hidden costs: Always read the fine print. Are taxes, processing fees, handling changes, postage, packing etc charged extra on the product/service you order? If so, confirm these costs beforehand, rather than being shocked at your statement later. Ideally, your merchant should disclose all costs and their billing process, on or before you checkout. Sometimes fluctuations in exchange rates can lead to minor discrepancies, during inter-currency transactions.

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