There are not many of us these days that do enjoy a bit of online shopping. Companies that did not have an online offering pre-pandemic where possible certainly do now. Retailers and software companies have made the process so simple making it hard for anybody to avoid the lure of the online marketplace.
However, as with everything online it is important that you are aware of the risks. After all, when shopping on a busy high street you would not wave your wallet around in plain sight for pick pocketers to see.
We have complied some tips to help you shop online with safety.
We talk about these topics quite often in our blogs and you can certainly see a theme….
Use a computer that is not for public use – preferably your own computer/laptop.
Ensure that the computer you are using has an updated anti-virus.
Use a strong password (combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols) upon registration with the online merchant. Keep it confidential.
When you have finished shopping log off from the merchant’s site and the internet browser each time.
Shop with a respected seller/company
Use trusted websites rather than using search engines for shopping.
Ensure that the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) starts with “https” instead of “http” on the page where you will be doing your credit card transaction. This indicates that the page is using a secure sockets layer (SSL) and is backed by a web server certificate.
Determine the legitimacy/authenticity of the website. Check the merchant’s web address or URL for correctness. Make sure that it is the merchant’s real website. Be careful in misspelling the address to avoid being misdirected to a bogus merchant’s website.
Pay with credit, not debit.
Where possible when shopping online, use a credit card to shop as securely as possible. A credit card doesn’t give a seller direct access to the money in your bank account.
That means you’re not out any money if a crook uses your account info to make a purchase. Your credit card company will ask questions, investigate the fraudulent activity and send you a new card. .
The Details of Purchase
After you make the purchase, keep the details in a safe place. Hang onto the receipt, your order confirmation number and the tracking number the seller provides. It is helpful if you have a folder set up in your email account specifically for your online shopping receipts. If you have a problem with the order, this information will help you get the issue resolved quickly.
You should also report scams to other organisations. This increases the chance of scammers being caught and stopped.
You should report all types of scams to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud.
Action Fraud can get the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate scams. They’ll also give you a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you’ve been scammed.
Hopefully the above tips will help give you a bit more peace of mind when shopping online. It is likely you will find that some of them you are already doing. In today’s world of ultra convenience it pays to take time, slow down and ensure you are protected.
Contact us at www.norfolkcs.co.uk or 01953 857980 for a free audit and friendly discussion on how we can help.