Shopping Online & Security

Shopping Online Today, Securely

Shopping online today is easy, it’s convenient, it can be fun, and it can fit into your lifestyle wherever you want it to.

It certainly has done with many, many people throughout the country, with around three quarters of the population claiming to have shopped online. Recent figures show that for every £5 spent shopping, £1 of it is spent online.

The online retail business is now reckoned in terms of hundreds of billions of pounds, and perhaps unsurprisingly, money like this, attracts the criminal class, and perhaps surprisingly, those criminals are interested in you.

To the cyber-criminal, anyone online is fair game, which is why a few simple safety observations and a little common sense can go a long way to keeping things running smoothly when you’re shopping online.

Security starts at home, and it is prudent to make sure that your computer has up to date antivirus software installed. Many modern systems update automatically, either way, it’s worth a check.

When you buy online you expose your financial details, so it’s best done within a secure environment, such as your home Wi-Fi, or at work. Wi-Fi in public places does not guarantee a safe network,

The internet offers a vast range of goods, shops and services, but when you’re shopping online it is best to try and stick to the bigger names, maybe Argos, or Amazon, or John Lewis, for example, as they will doubtless have the most up to date online security that money can buy.

If a site that you haven’t come across before should catch your eye, just reassure yourself that it looks up to scratch. Check for spelling mistakes, or if the graphics are as good as they should be.

Before you enter your financial details, a quick look at the address in the browser bar should reveal a symbol of a closed padlock, and the site address should begin https:/, and not just http:/, the S is an important indication of security.

It stands for Secure Sockets Layer which means that the information that you put in and send becomes encrypted as it leaves your computer and only the seller’s server can decrypt it.

Always use your credit card to pay when shopping online. Should the purchase not go as planned, for any of a variety of different reasons, not only are you covered under the Consumer Credit Act, and also the credit card company have a vested interest in returning any money, given that, in effect, it was their money that you spent in the first place.