Online Shopping Safety

Online Shopping and Keeping Your Money Safe

The world of retailing, brought to you by the World Wide Web, seems rather like the stars in the night sky, the more you look, the more you see, and there appears to be no finite number.

The reasons for shopping online are as easy to see as the keys on your machine are easy to touch. It seems that virtually everyone does it, so why not give it a go!

No reason why not, but, remember that basically you will be embarking on a financial transaction, and where financial transactions take place, there will always be someone shady, in the shadows, looking to steal.

A few simple things to bear in mind can let you shop with confidence, and be as secure as you can be.

Try and use web sites of known retailers, if you fancy looking at somewhere new, see if it carries reviews, or do an internet search to see if the site your thinking about gets a report of any kind.

Check that the site has a physical address and a returns policy, a phone contact number is promising.

If you then decide to make a purchase, prepare to use your credit card ahead of your debit card. The credit card offers much more security, by in effect, using the credit card company’s money rather than yours.

This means that should something go amiss with the transaction, the goods never arrive, or perhaps arrive broken, or not up to standard and the seller has either vanished or refuses to refund, the credit company will probably reimburse you under the Consumer Credit act.

The debit card offers no such protection, and in the case of some scams can open a portal to your bank account.

When you get to the payments part of the transaction, glance at the address in the browser bar, and check that it begins with https:/ rather than http:/. The S is important, it stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

It indicates that your financial information will leave your computer encrypted and only the recipient computer will be able to decrypt it.

There should also be, within the window bar, a closed padlock symbol. Should this appear on the page itself, it may well indicate the site is fraudulent.

Check your credit card bill and bank statements promptly, and speak to either as soon as possible if discrepancies occur.