Shopping Securely Online
Shopping online is becoming more the “norm” these days than the novelty it was a few years ago. Today many people think nothing of spending money online, and thinking nothing can possibly be a shopper’s folly.
Shopping online is generally safe and secure, but it is as well to remember that a financial transaction is as important to keep safe online, as handling cash in a physical shopping environment.
Keeping your financial details safe online can be just as simple as remembering a few checks, and applying a shot of good old common sense.
Try to stick to the better known sites to shop from, as they will have up to date strong security, but if you fancy using an unknown website to buy from, a little research is always a good idea.
See if there are any reviews from previous customers, or run the business through a search engine to get some background.
Check that the site has a physical address and if you’re buying goods, check for a credible returns policy a phone number and contact details.
If you are happy that the site is legitimate, that there are o spelling mistakes or dodgy looking graphics, look in the browser bar at the address, which should begin https:/.
The S indicates that the site uses a secure code, that is that your details are automatically encrypted as they pass from your computer to the sellers terminal which can un-encrypt them.
Sites showing plain http:/, could be subject to interception from hackers out to steal your financial information, so do not use them.
When you make purchases online, always use your credit card. This is by far the safer method of payment over your debit card.
Should your information go astray online, the debit card could give hackers virtually open access to your bank account.
The credit card offers protection from two angles. The first is that on making the purchase you have used the credit card company’s money, and if the transaction does not go according to plan. It is in their interests to help resolve it.
The second is the Consumer Credit Act, which states that under section 75 “the credit card company is jointly and severally liable for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the retailer or trader”.
This means that once you’ve made the purchase with their money, they are responsible for the outcome of the deal.
This can be invaluable if the seller does a vanishing act, or the goods don’t exist. Just another tip to file under common sense!