Going Shopping Online
Shopping online is becoming more and more commonplace, as more and more of us go online to find whatever we want. Since an album by Sting, called “Ten Summoner’s Tales” was the one very first item to be securely sold online, just over twenty years ago, people have taken to online shopping in their millions.
The amount spent on online shopping worldwide is now reckoned in hundreds of billions of pounds, and in Britain, in 2016 surveys have revealed that 51% of all purchases were online, rather than in stores.
The huge financial implications have not gone unnoticed by the underworld, which has bred new generations of techno criminals to follow the money trail. There is little point in being a pick pocket on the street if there are no pockets on it to pick, and no point in selling snake oil on the corner if there is no-one there to sell it to.
The cybercriminal now applies his trade in the virtual world of scams, efraud, phishing and vishing and various malware which are todays equivalent of the thief, pick pocket, or snake oil seller, different names, same aims, they’re after your money.
All it needs to stay secure while shopping online, is to remember a few basic security procedures, just as you would lock your front door, and check your purse or wallet when leaving your house to go shopping on the High street.
Make sure that your computer has up to date anti-spyware, antivirus and firewall, which many modern programmes update automatically, but it is always worth a check, and always make sure that you’re using the most up to date web browser, the more modern, the more secure.
Common sense should help you online, don’t reply to random emails, or pop-ups from the great unknown, whatever they may be offering, remember, the day of the snake oil seller has not gone away.
When you’re looking to buy online, try to stick to sites that you know, such as the big names in online shopping, and if you find something on a new site, check that it is secure by looking at the address in the browser bar.
The address should begin https:/, and not just plain http:/, the S indicates that the site uses encryption in the transfer of information from your computer to theirs, which is a professional level of security.
Also check that the site gives a physical bricks and mortar address along with a returns policy, should the transaction not go according to plan.