Online Shopping Tips
When the first copy of Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales was sold online, with encrypted financial data, (a credit card number) it was viewed as an interesting novelty that computers and the internet could perform.
That novelty in 1994, in a relatively short space of time has changed our perception of how to obtain goods and services, and online shopping is now a market in which the worldwide spending is quoted in hundreds of billions of pounds.
It really comes as no surprise that online shopping has been taken up so readily, the internet, as with many other facets of life, has made it easy to shop from your PC at home, or even while sitting on your sofa, or lying in bed.
A market of this magnitude has, of course, attracted the attention of the underworld, and at various depths of dishonesty or morality, lie the cyber criminals. You are as vulnerable to them as you make yourself, and your security is mostly a matter of using common sense.
When you leave your house, you don’t leave the front door open, and when you park your car, you lock it. If you put your card number into a terminal, you shield it from view. This simple use of common sense is all that needs to be applied to keep your online shopping outings and online transactions, secure and enjoyable.
Remember that as far as online transactions are concerned, your financial details are as good as ready money, and you must look after them as you would cash.
Using the big established names on the internet is a good way of keeping your transactions safe, as the big players will have the most up to date and strongest online security facilities, but the time will undoubtedly come when you will want to use an unknown site for the first time.
Before you enter any of your personal details, check the site for safety, look at its address in your browser bar. If the https:/ reads only http:/, that is, it carries no S, then the site is not secure, and do not use it.
Another important security detail to be in a habit of, is that for purchases, both of services and goods that are over £100, always use your credit card and not your debit card. This is because under the Consumer Credit Act, the credit card company is “jointly and severally liable”, for breach of contract or misrepresentation by the retailer or trader. This means that when all appears lost, all is not lost.