Online Shopping & Security

Shopping Online Today

The internet and the innovations and refinements of our computers and smart devices, have given shopping on the internet a larger slice of the retail world than ever before.

It has become so easy to use, allowing browsing and “window shopping” from almost anywhere in the country that you may find yourself.

As fibre optic cabling brings more and more of us ever-faster broadband access, the process of buying things on line becomes easier and easier.

As it becomes more a day-to-day occurrence, it may be easy to overlook or disregard simple steps of security that you should check, before you send your private financial details out across the internet, because wherever there is money involved, as sure as the sun rises, there will be a criminal class trying to take some of it.

A few basic steps can help to avoid pitfalls and disappointments.

Use known-name outlets where you can, but if you’re drawn to an unfamiliar site, check it out before parting with any money. Are there any comments about it on other sites? How does it shape up if you look through a search engine?

Check to see if there is a telephone number, a physical address, and importantly, a returns policy.

Don’t be tempted by deals and bargains that seem so amazing that they are hardly believable, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is, and someone is trying to sucker you in.

If and when you are going to make your purchase, just a simple observation can help keep things safe. Having reached the payments page, this should be secure, so glance at the address bar window, this should read https:/, instead of just http:/.

The S is very significant, it stands for Secure Sockets Layers, which indicates that your financial information that you enter, will be encrypted as it leaves your computer, and can only be decrypted by the seller’s computer.

There should also be a symbol of a closed padlock within your browser, which is one of the primary security features of basic SSL. If the padlock appears on the page rather than the browser frame, the site is suspect.

Mobile devices are wonderfully convenient, but never make financial transactions whilst using unsecured Wi Fi, which is what you must consider all “free Wi Fi” zones to be.

Browse, by all means, but wait to use your home or work computer, which should be using up-to-date antivirus/antispyware software, within its firewall, to send your financial details across the internet securely.