There was a time when people in need of gifts required to shower, dress and brave irritated shoppers to choose them. It was not always the case, some of us actually love shopping, but sometimes we just want to avoid the hassle and make our life easier.
Nowadays all of these issues are not longer a problem and if we don’t want to, there is no need to go the store anymore! Instead, we can just open our computer, tablet or mobile phone and visit a virtual store. You can do this in day or night, respectably clothed or completely comfortable at your home, pressure and hassle are completely over!
With more and more consumers in the UK turning to the Internet to purchase goods, it is important to note that this has caught the attention of cybercriminals who are keen to take advantage from the convenience and affordable choice that makes the Internet such a good place to be.
With that in mind, we have put together five top tips on how to stay safe and secure when shopping online:
1. Always look for trusted brands with a strong reputation
Buying from popular brands online is a really good advice when shopping online. You can also read about the company on their website and understand how reliable they are. In this way you will know what you’re getting for the quality and price, and also feel more confident that these well-established names have in place a good security for your safety.
2. Use credit cards and secure payment services like PayPal
Credit cards in comparison to debit cards, can offer you an additional protection when shopping online. The main advantage o is that a credit card account is in no inked to funds you actually own.
If you don’t like to use credit cards and prefer debit card, using secure online payment services like PayPal can offer you a great advantage. These providers act as a middleman, you deliver payment to PayPal and they pass this onto the retailer. Your bank details always remain unseen.
3. Always look for https URL and the padlock symbol
Https is an online safety protocol that encrypts information to kept data private and protected. The URL is almost always preceded by a padlock symbol (if this is missing, you should double check the website).
Websites that use https are safe because they utilise SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt any information that is distributed online, such as your credit card details.
4. Be careful of dodgy offers that might be too good to be true (sometimes they are, just saying you need to double check)
Sometimes we come across with unbelievable offers and jumped on it with enthusiasm trying to purchase something with a highly discounted price from its true cost.
This can happen on big sales, but if the price is too low you need to double check. Sometimes can be just too good to be true, in this cases caution is required because there are plenty of scams looking to hook you in with tempting offers. In some cases, this can just be a virus.
5. Always choose your mobile phone network over public Wi-Fi
We can’t deny that as consumers, we are in constant search for public Wi-Fi from shops to cafes or restaurants, being able to access the internet with no cost is connected with our way of living.
However, when buying online all the convenience of the public Wi-Fi can also bring many risks, hotspots are actually really easy to attack. This is why when it comes to shopping online, always opt to use data provided by your network provider.