Keeping Secure When Shopping Online
Shopping online is easy, it’s convenient, it opens a huge range, and it’s economical. It is also big, big business, valued now in billions of pounds per year, and growing.
Finance of this scale, obviously attracts criminals, not the average pickpocket, snake-oil seller or mugger, but the cybercriminal, whose intent to con, or rob you can be a very high-tech affair.
This doesn’t mean that the process is insecure or scary, it just means that it requires a little common sense and a few simple precautions to keep on the safe side.
The first is just to make sure that your computer, or device, is up to date with the latest anti-malware and antivirus programmes. Most modern systems automatically update, but it is worth checking.
It is usually more satisfactory if you stick to well-known trade names and sites. Not only do you have an idea of the type or quality of goods that you buy, but popular well known sites will be using the most up to date and strongest security connections.
If you do find a site which has caught your eye, use the common sense approach, does the site look professional, are there spelling mistakes, are the graphics as good as you would expect, and if you’re happy, look a little deeper.
Has it got any customer reviews, does it give a returns policy, has it a physical address to return things too, or any other contact details, or delivery information. All sounds like a lot, but it just takes a few seconds to review.
Most of all, was the reason it caught your eye, because it was offering an unbelievable bargain or something amazing, the old adage still applies, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and the best result would probably be to leave it.
If you’re happy with what you see, and you proceed, before you part with any of your financial details, briefly check the web address in the browser bar. It should begin with https:/, if it reads http:/, note that the S is missing. The S indicates that the site is secure, using safety encryption.
For purchases over £100 always ensure that you use a credit card rather than your debit card. Should the purchase not go according to plan, you will have the cover of the Consumer Credit Act, giving you a measure of protection, which the debit card cannot.