An Eye, On Shopping Online
The internet has, within the twenty five years or so of its existence become one of the most important staffs that modern society consciously or not, leans and relies on.
Which, considering that the internet has no physical reality, is quite a phenomena. It has no dimensions or edges, middles or boundaries, is as non-understandable as a black hole in space, yet it is used by more people on earth than not.
The rise in shopping over the internet seems unstoppable, and the value of internet shopping is reckoned in hundreds of billions of pounds, and as technology connects more and more people, so the demand for retail on the ‘net goes on.
As are the ways of human nature, when sums of money are involved there will be an element with designs to relieve others of what they can get hold of.
Old time safe-crackers, pickpockets, cut-purses, snake oil sellers etc. have been replaced online by the cyber-criminal. Cyber-criminals commit their crimes by hacking, scamming, phishing and various hi-tech methods of what is basically, stealing, in one form or another.
The knowledge that there is an underworld at work while you window shop or buy online should not deter you, but make you aware of a few easy checks to keep things safe as you use your computer or device to shop online.
Try to stick to sites that are established names such as Amazon, or Cath Kidston, as these will have up to date and strong, online security. If your window shopping has led you to an unfamiliar site that you are interested in, see if it carries any reviews, or even check it out through a search engine.
Ask yourself if the site looks professional, that there are no spelling mistakes, and that the graphics look ok. Bear in mind too, that if an offer being made seems too good to be true, it probably is, go no further with it.
If the site seems ok, and there is a physical address and returns policy in place, if you’re going to continue, before entering any of your financial or personal details, check that the site is secure.
Look at the address in the browser bar, and check it begins https:/ and not just http:/. The S stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security system that will encrypt the information you send out, and which can only be de-encrypted by the seller’s server.
There should also be, within the browser bar, the symbol of a closed padlock and should the symbol appear anywhere other than there, it would be unwise to proceed. These two little checks can mean finding the difference between a trustworthy site, and one that is not.