One of the most widespread wedding trends continues to be online shopping for brides, and I must admit, all of us at My Wedding Favors couldn’t be happier about it. Besides our commitment to bring you the largest selection of unique wedding favors in cyberspace, we know online shopping saves you money, gasoline, travel, running from store to store, standing in lines, carrying heavy bags from place to place, and your orders are delivered directly to your home, work or even your destination wedding location.

Ultimately, it’s all about trust, and the first thing you need to ask yourself when you shop online is “Can I trust this site?”

HOW TO SHOP ONLINE MORE SAFELY

My Wedding Favors has done everything possible to ensure your online shopping safety, but how can you tell? And are you doing everything on your end to make sure you don’t become victim to an unscrupulous Internet retail site? With some help from our friends at Microsoft, I’ve listed a few tips to help you determine that you’re shopping at a secure and trustworthy Web site. Here they are:

  • Find out what shoppers say. Sites like epinions.com and BizRate have customer evaluations which can help you determine a company’s legitimacy.
  • Look for third-party seals of approval. Companies can put these seals on their sites only if they abide by a set of rigorous standards, such as how personal information can be used. Two seals to look for are from Better Business Bureau Online and McAfee Secure, which means the site is tested for safety daily:

If you see the seals, always click them to make sure they link to the organization that created them. Unscrupulous merchants have been know to put these logos on their Web sites without permission. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you’ll find both of these seals. Put us to the test!A

  • Look for signs that the Web site protects your data. On the Web page where you enter your credit card or other personal information, look for an s after http (https://) in the Web address of that page. Encryption is a security measure that scrambles data on its journey through the Internet.
  • Make sure there is a small, closed padlock. Usually it’s in the address bar or on the lower right corner of the window, though sometimes the padlock may be somewhere else on the page. (Our padlock is at the bottom of the page to the left of the Better Business Bureau Online seal):

 

  • Use a filter that warns you of suspicious Web sites. Set up browser filters to warn you about reported phishing sites and block you from visiting them. Browser filters include the SmartScreen filter and the Phishing Filter, both found in Internet Explorer.
  • Keep your Web browser updated with additional layers of protection offered by your preferred browser.

I’m glad I wrote this post, because the research opened my eyes to a couple of things about safe online shopping I hadn’t known before. Let me know if you found it helpful, too! Have a fabulous week of wedding planning!