Top Tips For Safe Online Shopping
According to recent research, 51% of all retail sales took place as online shopping last year, and the value of the business worldwide is now reckoned in hundreds of billions of pounds.
These sums of money attract an ever evolving type of villain, the cybercriminal, who employ all manner of scams and frauds to conduct what is probably the world’s second oldest profession.
The taking of someone else’s wealth, or possessions has been around almost as long as humanity, from bands of brigands, to highway men, investment frauds to pickpockets, counterfeiting to snake oil selling, the times have spawned their appropriate methods of criminality, and today, as you reach for your lap top to shop online, the cybercriminal could be waiting for you.
The internet is a quick and easy place to shop and to manage your online banking, but your personal financial details are as good as physical money, and should be looked after as if they were that.
It is not an arduous job to keep your information safe, but a few tips to bear in mind might help. The first is to make sure that your computer is running the most up to date programme, as this helps keep pace with detecting new viruses.
Virus infection can slow the speed of your computer, and possibly open it to identity theft, so make sure that you have anti-virus software, a firewall which forms a sort of barrier between the internet and your computer, sieving out viruses, and anti-spyware software to prevent the possible scanning of your personal details.
When you go to shop online. Try and keep to well-known sites that have been recommended to you, or are big names, such as Amazon, or John Lewis, as their security programmes will be both up to date and effective.
If you find a site that you want to buy from, just a few quick checks first, could help keep your money safe. Does the site look professional, rather than a bit of fun from a twelve year old in some far flung country, no spelling mistakes etc. Look for customer reviews of their experience of shopping on the site.
If you’re aiming on buying goods, check that there is a returns policy in place, and a full postal address displayed, and before you enter any of your financial details, check that the site is secure.
In your browser bar, the site’s address should begin https, no S after the http means that the site is not secure, and leave it, the internet is a big enough place to look elsewhere.