Shopping Online & Internet Safety

The Art of Shopping Online

Shopping online is becoming very popular indeed, in fact around three quarters of the population of Britain have used the internet for buying something online.

The amounts being spent worldwide on online shopping are now reckoned in hundreds of billions of pounds, and rising. It seems that a very fundamental change is taking place in the retail scene, and shopping online is becoming the first place to go to rather than the High street or shopping mall.

The reasons are simple, it is so convenient, open for business whenever you want, with a seemingly never ending range of goods and prices. As commonplace as it becomes, you should never overlook the fact that every time you purchase, you are giving your personal financial details to someone over the internet, and it is prudent to remember a few basic precautions.

Just as you would lock your front door as you go out, so you should exercise a few security steps every time you are expecting to shop online.

The most obvious is that your computer has an up to date antivirus, antispyware programme, and also on your tablet, smart phone or anything that connects to the internet.

Be wary of unsolicited emails, posts, or texts, these might ask you to click through links or open attachments, which are common ways for cyber criminals to obtain your financial information or set an infection into your device.

Try to stick to well-known sites, but if you find yourself on a site for the first time, check a few things out before you give any financial information.

See if it carries any reviews from customers who have used it. Check that the site gives a physical, bricks and mortar address, and if you are buying goods, that it has a returns policy in place.

When you get to the payments page, look at the site’s address in the browser bar and check that the link is secure. The address should begin https:/. The S on the end is highly significant, as it stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which means that the information between your web browser and the web site is encrypted, so any interception will only reveal nonsense. If the site does not have this security, do not use it.

Also within the browser bar should be the symbol of a closed padlock which appears when you go to log in or register. If the symbol appears somewhere else on the page, it is probably a fraudulent site, move on, Common sense is a very good yard stick.