Going Online Shopping
Many, many of us these days think nothing of reaching for the computer to make a purchase. Secure online financial transactions have with us for over twenty years, and the value of shopping online is globally said to now run at hundreds of billions of pounds per year.
As the practise became widespread, as with financial transactions anywhere, large sums of money will attract the attention of the thief. Thief, conman, pick-pocket, swindler, cheat, they have all been attracted to the internet and have been branded “the cyber-criminal”.
Cyber criminals range from super sophisticated to positively clumsy, but all have meant developing security measures against, for our own well-being.
The security which we can have online is available to almost all of us, and keeping safe when online, is mostly a matter of common sense, for instance, keep your home computer up to date with antivirus and antispyware software. Most modern programmes will update themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
If you are going to purchase anything online, you are going to have to give out your personal financial details, and these details should be treated the same way as you would treat money, with care and respect.
Try to stick to sites that are known names, such as Amazon, Curries, or Argos, as these will have up to date strong security across all of their systems. Should you find a site slightly off the beaten track, see if there are any reviews, or look at their profiles from a search engine.
Check the details of the site, it should give a physical address and possibly a phone number, alongside a returns policy, if the service is relevant.
It maybe that you are buying a service, or a download, but still check the security of the site. As you get to the payments page, look at the address in the browser bar, it should start with https:/. If the S is missing from the end of this protocol, do not proceed.
The S stands for Secure Sockets Layers, a security measure that encrypts the financial information you give as leaves your terminal, and can only be decrypted by the seller’s terminal, keeping your details safe, from prying electronic eyes.
It is worth bearing in mind, that if a site is offering something that seems too good to be true, that is probably because, it is, leave it alone.
Remember to use your credit card rather than your debit card, because if there are problems arising , the credit card carries the greater protection, not least under the Consumer Credit Act.