How to Protect Yourself when Ordering Online

  • Look for the Privacy Policy that guarantees that they will not sell, trade or give away any of your information.
  • At checkout, on the checkout page, be certain that the address bar at the top of the page begins with “https” not just “http”. This means those who have "https" are secured. A secured website checkout page prevents your information from being stolen by hackers and thieves. The "https" will only show up on the checkout page, not on the sites regular pages.
  • Research the merchant you are going to deal with. Watch for the warning signs of a merchant that may not be stable.
    • Locating their address is difficult and "buried" in their site or the address is a P.O. Box. Some merchants even use a UPS mail drop store in another state for their "address".
    • A legitimate seller will prominently display their street address and phone number.
    • Returns that must be shipped to different address or, even worse, to different state. 
  • Do a Google Search: Google the merchants name then the word “reports”. For example “Countryside Pet Supply reports”. You will find the good and, if any exists – the bad and the ugly about the merchant.
  • Check to see if there have been complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau If the merchant has a poor rating, find a different merchant to deal with. Internal website ratings can be faked, the BBB can not be faked.
  • Stay out of websites that have poor ratings.


I hope this is of help to you.


Ken Bengson