Let’s face it, shopping online makes everything just a little bit easier, doesn’t it? Don’t have time to search for a birthday present? Simply search online and get it delivered. Don’t want to drag the kids around the supermarket? Head to your supermarket’s online store and get it delivered at a time that’s convenient for you!
Shopping online certainly has made things more accessible and made our consumer world a little bit bigger – want to buy plastic alternatives from an independent eco-friendly store in Japan? No problem!
But with most things online – we still need to be careful. Just because you’re sat at home in your PJs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of internet scams, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant. You wouldn’t walk around the high street with bank notes sticking out of your back pocket, would you? The same applies online!
Here we’ll look at some simple and straightforward online safety tips.
Always check the reviews
I can’t stress this enough. Read reviews. If a business has a back log of negative reviews, where people have had bad experience after bad experience, where they haven’t received goods, they haven’t got what they paid for and have basically been ripped off, then you need to avoid them completely.
Reviews are there for a reason! And knowing that customers will relay positive or negative feedback means that businesses will work a little harder to maintain higher standards. It means people will come back! So, if it looks like a business doesn’t care then BEWARE!
So, you’ve found a perfect birthday present, or a new top you want to treat yourself to. That’s great, but before you enter your card details – stop. Look in the navigation bar where the website URL is or check the status bar at the bottom of the web browser. Can you see a padlock?
This is a Secure Sockets Layer – which is basically an encryption which means your bank details will be safe. If you’re unsure, you could always try a payment through PayPal instead.
Do they want you to send your credit/debit card details over email to complete the transaction? NO WAY!
Your passwords and what you share online
Yes, you might roll your eyes, but you’d be shocked at how many people still use basic passwords like family names and date of births to access things like their online banking and credit card accounts. It’s true I might not know the date of birth of your youngest child or their middle name – but if I was clever enough I could check out your Facebook account and get the name date from there – after all, it was seen and shared by all your friends and family…easy peasy.
Surely scammers would need your address, right? Well, that profile picture of you and the kids stood outside your house in the snow should make it easier. Especially if the house number is in plain sight!
Be careful about what you’re sharing online!