Shopping Securely Online
Shopping online today is becoming more and more popular, with almost three quarters of the population having used it in the last year.
Its convenience is undoubted, where else could you buy a pair of shoes at midnight, whilst dressed in pyjamas?
There are, like high street shopping, some basic steps to guard yourself against. You wouldn’t leave the house to go shopping, and leave the front door open, and nor would you have your purse or wallet on show in a bag or pocket whilst walking the high street.
As we are aware of pick pockets, fraudsters and thieves in our lives, so we should be aware of potential cheating or dishonesty online, not to be in apprehension, just prudent.
First and foremost, your own front door, your computer. Make sure that you have up to date anti-virus software in place to protect it from malware spyware and viruses.
If you are going to give any financial information online, make sure that the site you are buying from is secure, with just a glance in the browser bar. Provided the vendor is using encryption, the web address should start https:/, rather than just http:/ the “s” indicates that the safety measure is in place.
Always use a strong password with a spread of symbols and numbers to help keep your personal details private.
If you are happy with the site and are going to make a purchase, check that there is a returns system in place, in case you are not happy with the goods, or the clothes sizes aren’t right or up to standard.
For the actual payment, wherever possible, use your credit card ahead of debit card. This is because, should a problem arise, if you have used a debit card, the payment has left your bank at pretty much at the touch of the buttons, whereas using a credit card means that the payment doesn’t appear until it arrives on your monthly statement.
This means that if there is a problem, say, the goods not arriving, or being returned, you have time to rectify the situation. Should the site be fraudulent and you have unauthorised charges on your account, provided you have discussed the matter with your credit card company and have behaved responsibly, they will cover the loss.
If you have used your debit card and the details have been taken by a fraudulent site, this could allow the fraudsters access directly to your bank account and anything that’s in it.
There is a different way of making purchase payments online, and that is through a trusted third party, or “middle-man” company such as Pay-Pal or Apple-pay, where your payment goes to the vender via them, thus keeping your detail from the vender’s site.