Safe Online Shopping
The phenomena of online shopping is a modern convenience that many people now would find hard live without. It may be topping up your music, checking bargains, finding the must-have pair of shoes, or someone to mend the washing machine, but it has become a second nature to many of us.
If you go shopping in the high street or centre, you would make sure your wallet or purse wasn’t hanging out of your pocket or bag, you would take simple security precautions.
By the same token, the pick-pocket thief has not gone away, he has gone online, and some have become a whole lot more sophisticated.
Wherever there is money, in stock, in store, in transit or in bank, someone is likely to try and dishonestly get their hands on it.
You need to protect your computer, your personal information, your money and your peace of mind. A few simple steps can make for standard online security.
Make sure your computer has a recognised anti-virus program. It is vital that online shoppers secure their PC from virus and malware intrusion and keep those signatures up to date. Most good programs can automatically update these signatures, provided the automatic update feature in your software is enabled.
When making your purchase by card, always use your credit card as opposed to debit. The security implications are pretty straight forward. Should your information be intercepted online you will have far more protection and recourse than the debit card.
The debit card is a direct portal into your bank account, and whatever may be in it, on the other hand the credit card will probably have a spending limit, and you can take up discrepancies with the card providers, who offer a measure of reimbursement and can be a form of safety valve against fraud.
Instead of direct payment to the vendor, you could use a third party payment processor such as PayPal or Apple Pay, who pay the online vendor from your account with them.
This minimises the amount of exposure your financial information gets, and negates direct financial contact with the seller.
Before entering into any site during your search, ensure that they are who they say they are, with a little research. Check that the address in the browser bar begins https: rather than just http:
The “s” indicates the use of secure sockets layer technology to encrypt information passing between your PC and the vendor’s server. This indication is usually accompanied by a closed padlock symbol.
Keep a check on your monthly credit card statement, and any if any discrepancy should arise, inform your credit card company as soon as possible.
Lastly, if you see a bargain on line that looks so good it couldn’t be true, assume it isn’t true, until you’ve researched it thoroughly.