Safety & Online Shopping

Online Shopping Securely

Shopping online is a real growth industry, as more and more people get used to the convenience and ease of using the computer to do the travelling, and not your feet.

The range of goods and services you can buy online is virtually endless, it is like the biggest mall in the longest high street ever, and then some.

Virtual retailers can offer you a scale and range of products that simply would not physically fit in bricks and mortar shops, and modern mailing systems can deliver to your door faster than ever.

Modern computers with link-in speeds powered by fibre optic cables can offer you shopping opportunities unimaginable twenty years ago. Today you can have a shopping spree, or just window shop, visiting New York, Paris and Hong Kong, during your lunch-break, and still have time to eat your lunch.

Shopping on line, is now reckoned to be worth hundreds of billions of pounds per year and growing, and unsurprisingly, money like this attracts an unwelcome class of villain, the cyber-criminal.

To keep your financial information and money safe, you only have to be aware of a few safety tips that should become as routine and natural as locking your front door when you leave the house.

Make sure your computer has up to date software, (some programmes update automatically) for antivirus antispyware and firewall, and use the latest version of your web browser.

Firstly, try to keep to well-known and trusted sites. Big names like Amazon, or John Lewis, Argos etc. will have the latest and strongest online security.

If you find a site that you have not heard of before, but like the look of, check out any comments or even try a search engine to try and get some background. Simply looking hard at the site may reveal flaws in it, such as miss-spelling, poor use of upper and lower cases or poor graphics. If it doesn’t feel right, the leave it.

There is much in security which boils down to common sense, if it doesn’t feel right, leave it, and be alert to offers that seem to be too good to be true, they probably are.

If you have decided you would like to buy, check that the seller has a physical address, along with a returns policy and maybe a phone number.

Remember to always use your credit card, not your debit card when paying online. This gives you the protection of the Consumer Credit Act, and also, by using the credit card company’s money, should something go astray, they would have a vested interest in getting the money back!