Enjoying Online Shopping Securely
In 1994, the artist Sting released a new album called “10 summoner’s tales”, not a particularly notable event, other than by coincidence it became the first item purchased on line. It was around £7.50, todays online shopping in the UK has overtaken the £100 billion mark.
This establishes the trend, or indeed life-style of online shopping that is here today and is used at times by a huge majority of the population.
As with anything that involves money, there are always risks as the unscrupulous move from physical theft to the internet.
A few steps that should be borne in mind when going to buy online can help to keep you safe and as secure as you can hope to be.
Always use a credit card when making purchases. It may feel like good house-keeping to pay by debit card, but should there be a fraudulent involvement, it may be possible that card opens a window to your bank account and associated financial information.
It also means you will have little or no recourse if you have bought from a scammed site.
Credit card companies are obliged under the Consumer credit act to reimburse you provided you have been reasonably prudent with your security.
For this reason it is important to check your monthly credit card statement when it arrives and should there be any discrepancy, speak to the card company right away.
A simple thing to remember, when you are likely to make a purchase is just to glance at the beginning of the site address in the browser bar, that the URL starts with HTTPS rather than HTTP.
The S means that the information you send is secure. This is provided Secure Sockets Layer which encrypts the information in transit so that only the intended recipient can read it.
If you use a site without the S, be prudent with the information you are prepared to give.
An additional sign of a secure site is the picture of a closed padlock or unbroken key in the browser bar.
Smart phones and tablets are great ways to browse when out and about, and using free Wi Fi in your local coffee shop or wherever is usually easy enough, but do not make purchases online as most Wi Fi hot spots don’t protect your data, which means you will be sending you financial and personal details unencrypted.
Window shop when out and about, make use of your home computers safety features when you get home.