Online Shopping With Peace Of Mind
Shopping online is becoming almost a second nature to many of us, and for obvious reasons. It is easy, convenient, and we can fit it in to many different parts of the day, where physically visiting shops just would not work.
Because shopping online is so commonplace, it is becoming easy to forget about the need for online security, but considering that around three quarters of the population have used their computer to buy something, therefore put their financial details online, it’s hardly surprising that there is a criminal underclass out there looking for the metaphorical open window, or unlocked door.
Keeping risks to your money and financial information as low as you can, can be as simple as a few visual checks, and a bit of common sense.
When you’re shopping online try to stick to well-known sites with household names, as these will probably have the strongest and most up to date security throughout their systems.
Should something on an unfamiliar site catch your eye, a glance at the rest of the site would not go amiss. Check that it looks professional, no spelling mistakes, decent graphics, and see if there are any reviews from customers.
Also check for delivery information, and that it has a returns policy with a physical address with it. If there are no reviews, you could always put the site into a search engine and see the results.
Before you enter any personal or financial details, check the site address in the browser bar, which on a secure site will begin https: should it start http: the site has not been secured.
The S stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which encrypts the information as it leaves your computer, and can only be unencrypted by the seller’s server.
Also in the browser bar, should be the image of a closed padlock, which also indicates secure, unless it appears on any other part of the page, in which case, leave, as it is probably a scam.
A little application of common sense, if an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is, along with free lunches, they rarely exist. Don’t be tempted, just leave.
Using a mobile phone or tablet when you’re out and about, is fine for some window shopping, but bear in mind that public Wi-Fi areas have no guarantee of being secure, so don’t risk possible cyber eaves dropping by putting your details online there, wait until the security of your home, or even work place.
A little common sense can go a long way.