Online Shopping and Keeping Safe
In the spring of this year, retail internet sales recorded that 20% of sales, that is, of everything that comes under the “retail” banner, 20% was sold over the internet. That makes shopping online a massive proportion of total sales.
This is a huge milestone and one unlikely to go anywhere other than an even higher proportion of sales coming online.
The figures are not greatly surprising in themselves, almost everyone who has regular access to a computer of some sort is likely to have made a purchase, if only to download a piece of music.
The value of online sales has moved into the hundreds of millions of pounds area, and with huge amounts of money being electronically sent daily, so, like sharks at sea, the criminally minded are attracted by so much financial activity.
Cybercrime has grown with the online phenomena, but so have the safety parameters, and just keeping a few do’s and don’ts in mind can keep your online shopping trip safe.
It may sound obvious, but some people don’t think to have malware and anti-virus programmes as a norm loaded in their devices, this should be as natural as breathing. It is common sense to ensure that they are kept up to date.
Your passwords are important too. Again, it should be just a second nature to have strong password with upper and lower case, numbers and even punctuation. Have separate passwords for each account.
If the site you are looking to buy from is not one of your regular sites, it doesn’t take much just to check simple things such as the home postal address, the returns policy, etc. just to ensure you’re comfortable with it, and remember, if a new or pop-up site is offering something that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Before you go to press to purchase, just check the address in the browser bar. The URL should read https, rather than http. The s stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which means your financial details, ie your card details, are encrypted during their online exposure from your computer to the seller’s terminal.
Although some people prefer to use debit cards over credit cards, when online, always use the credit card. Should any malware pick up your details, those given on a debit card could open a direct portal to your bank account.
A credit card gives your financial details some protection, and should you fall victim of a scam, provided you notify you card company in good time, they are obliged to cover glitches and what look to be thefts of over £100.