Safe Online Shopping
The place to start, when scrutinising the outlets that you come across online, is that you go with one with a reputable pedigree.
Most retailers these days have online portals even if they are not exclusively web-based, such as John Lewis, or Sainsbury’s, as opposed to those that familiarly have, such as Amazon or Ocado.
If the retailer that you have come across is unknown to you, a few simple and brief checks can lower the possibilities of falling into traps for the unwary.
Initially, if the site is an “unknown”, check the returns and conditions pages, and see if there is an address, you can try and see it on a powerful search engine like Google, or scan social media to find if it interacts with customers, real, or potential.
Check any site that you are preparing to make a purchase from, that they have encryption in place and appear secure.
A glance at the browser bar should show a locked padlock symbol, and the beginning of the web address should read https, rather than http. The S indicates encryption in place and that which passes between buyer and seller remains impervious to electronic eaves droppers.
Should a site not display the encryption sign ‘S’ do not buy from it.
It is important that your computer, be it PC, lap top, tablet or smart phone or any device is equipped with the latest security updates. The seller you are buying from can have an encrypted connection, but whist you are on line poor anti-virus programmes can still put your device in jeopardy.
A strong password is a good, if old fashioned basis for a secure link to the retailers account and yours. Do not use easy to guess key words such as your dog or cats name, much of your information, however innocent sounding, may out in the world of social media.
You may have mentioned your birthday, favourite colour, football team, any little thing can open an insight into your possible pass wording must be avoided.
Make passwords strong and complex, and do not use the same one on other online shopping accounts.
Always use a credit card in preference to a debit card. Credit cards offer a level of security which the direct banking details on your debit card, obviously do not. They can be a direct portal to your bank account, and anything that is there.
The payment on credit card goes from the card provider, and recourse through them, should a problem occur, is a good safety facility.
Online shopping payment providers such as Apple Pay or PayPal are a very secure method, they store your financial details in highly secure servers and you only reveal your details online once, in the initial setting up of your account.
Always check your credit card statements with an eye out for anything out of the ordinary, or recognised purchases.