Shopping Online With Care
Shopping online is becoming an everyday part of people’s lives. Millions upon millions of us now use the internet as a matter of course, and why not, that is what it’s there for.
It might be easy, in becoming complacent about online shopping, to overlook the need for a few simple and easy checks to make sure that all that we do in cyber space is kept safe and sound.
You may think that cyber-criminals would not be interested in your online shopping, but remember it is a channel for financial transaction, that is to say, if you’re shopping online, then you have money, therefore you are a viable target for the computer based criminal classes.
Number one is to keep malware and viral infections at bay, not only from your PC, but all internet connected devices, such as your smartphone or tablet. Make sure you’re running the most up to date apps and virus protection software.
A good dash of common sense, and don’t get rushed into something, like following links in emails from obscure senders, and stop and think, if an offer seems too god to be true, that’s because it probably is, avoid it.
Try to stick to retailers that you know, or recognise, the more established and bigger they are, the stronger their security protocols are likely to be.
Should you find yourself at an unfamiliar site that has something that has caught your eye, check to see if there are any reviews of it from other customers and whether it gives a physical, bricks and mortar type address along with a credible returns policy, just in case.
Also satisfy yourself that the site looks professional, with no spelling mistakes, or shaky graphics. Before parting with any of your financial details, check the sites security by looking at the address in the browser bar, which should begin https:/ The S on the end indicates Sockets Security Levels which enables the information from your computer to transfer to the seller’s terminal under encryption.
Only the seller’s computer can un-encrypt the information. If the address reads http:/ only, don’t use it.
One thing to bear in mind, is that wherever possible use your credit card rather than your debit card. The debit card information, if intercepted, could be a doorway leading someone straight into your bank account.
The credit card covers you under the Consumer Credit Act, and the issuer becomes partly liable to you in the event of the transaction not going according to plan.