Shopping Online

Tips to Stay Secure When Shopping Online

Shopping online is popular, very, very popular indeed. Increasing year upon year, the market for online shopping is now reckoned to be in excess of £100billion per year and still growing.

The bigger the business, the more scammers and opportunists try to be part of it, and their sophistication grows in relation to the complexities of ever increasing IT security.

There are always some new approaches from cyber criminals, but for the most part the majority of malware exploits are existing problems with software and operating systems, and the cybercriminal is relying on users not being bothered to keep systems up to date.

This is why one of the golden rules for any kind of transactions you are going to undertake online, is to make sure your computer is running the latest anti-virus programmes, and only run the most current versions of software and apps.

Protecting personal information and financial details are paramount as these are marketable assets to an array of cybercriminals, and having them exposed could quickly lead to very big problems.

Shopping online is easy and can be a safe and pleasurable experience, but a major watchword is always, common sense. Common sense starts with trying to keep your shopping with bigger, well- known names, such as Amazon, or Argos, as these type of sites will be using the very latest and strongest security across their systems, to assure mutual discretion.

If you window shop the net, and find a new site, before entering any of your own details, check that is secure, by checking the address in the browser bar. It should begin with https://, the S indicates that the site is secure and uses encryption, effectively scrambling your information as it leaves you, and un-encrypting it is only possible at the seller’s terminal.

There should also be the symbol of a small closed padlock in the address bar.

Establishing that a site is secure is one step, trying to find if it is trustworthy is another. Look for remarks from customers, check that the site has a physical, bricks and mortar address, and if you’re purchasing goods, that it has a clear returns policy, and bear in mind that if an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Online shopping is only set to grow, and as it does, so the scams will become ever more sophisticated, but just spending a moment or two each time you look on line, and apply a little common sense, you should stay safe and sound.