Shopping Online Today
Shopping online today has been made secure, easy and accessible to almost all of us, but it still needs a little common sense to keep your financial transactions secure online, and a few brief checks as you go along can help you to help yourself to stay secure.
Always use a credit card when paying online for any purchase that is over one hundred pounds. Provided it is also under thirty thousand pounds (more than that would be a pretty impressive buy when shopping online!), the transaction falls under the Consumer Credit Act of 1974.
When you buy, using a credit card, you are actually (albeit temporarily), spending the credit card company’s money and as such the company must follow certain conditions and procedures under the Act, as seller or provider of the credit.
Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act goods purchased over the internet that are faulty, substandard, misrepresented, or just don’t arrive will be recompensed by the credit card company if negotiations with the seller are fruitless, or, as does happen, the seller goes bust or disappears.
Always remember that your financial information is hard currency to some cyber criminals, and if you are going to purchase from a new site that is not a household name, or known to you, a couple of quick glances can tell you if the site is genuine and secure.
Look for reviews from previous customers and draw your conclusion as to user satisfaction or otherwise. Check that the site has a physical, bricks and mortar address along with a concise returns policy and phone number.
If you’re happy with it so far, when you arrive at the secure payments page, check in your browser bar at the seller’s address starts https://, the S on the end being very important. Http is the protocol over which data is sent from your browser and the seller’s website you’re connected to, the S indicates security for your sensitive information.
If you were carrying on chit chat between the website and you, the standard connection would be adequate, as hackers would have no interest, but to carry your personal financial information, you must ensure the site has the S, which stands for Secure Sockets Layers.
The information leaving your computer will be encrypted and only readable by the receiving seller’s website. Up to date web browsers should also display a closed padlock symbol in your browser bar to indicate that https connection is active.
Little checks that take virtually no time at all, can help to prevent something simple becoming something unpleasant.