Shopping Online, Just a Tip or Two
The figures being quoted by financial wizards describing the importance of online shopping are mind boggling.
Twenty years ago, it was in debate as to whether it could ever be a commercial success, it now has a global value of hundreds of billions of pounds per year. This is higher than some countries GDP.
The reasons for this are right before us. The power of the computer and the huge effect of fibre optic cabling, brings the high street to your living room, or bed, or car, or work place.
The range of goods seems virtually endless, and without the physical constraints of a shop in a mall, or high street, the online seller can offer stock from almost anywhere.
It is quick and easy, but where the amounts of money this business is worth are mentioned, they will attract the attention of any ne’r-do-well in the computer world. Cyber-crime is big business, too big to be interested in you, you may think. Think again.
There are a whole range of cyber-criminals out there, looking to profit from anyone, and that does include you. However, with some modern technology on your side, and a few safety precautions to bear in mind, you should stay safe and sound shopping on line.
One of the more mundane security procedures is to check that your computer has up to date antispyware and antivirus software behind your firewall.
Most modern computer programmes automatically update, but tp keep a check is no more arduous than making sure your front door is locked.
Try and stick to big name sites, such as Amazon, john Lewis or Argos for example, as these type of sites will have modern robust security.
If you find something that takes your fancy on a site unfamiliar to you, a brief check is best, before you enter any of your details. Can you see any feedback comments online there, or use a search engine to find any relevant reports.
Check that there is a physical address and delivery information with a returns policy and preferably with a phone number. These are indications of a reputable seller.
If you are going to go ahead with a purchase, make sure of the site’s security before entering your details. Check in the browser bar that the address begins https:/ with a symbol of a closed padlock.
If the address reads http:/, ie. It has no letter S in it, or there is no lock symbol, then the site does not use encryption to scramble your personal information, leaving it vulnerable to crooks.
Don’t chance it, move on.