Most of us can admit to enjoying the convenience that online shopping provides. However, there are also some potential risks. It’s always important to be aware that payment methods, personal details and other sensitive data can all be possible cyber-security risks. The following precautions can help you to stay safe while you shop online:
Check before You Buy
Many people are cautious to purchase items from shops or salespeople they are not familiar with. Apply the same caution when online shopping. Avoid making purchases from unfamiliar websites until research has shown that they are genuine. Be particularly cautious of emails or texts with links about special offers, as these may lead to scam websites.
Making Payment Safely
Purchasing items online with credit cards can provide extra layers of protection. Most major credit card companies provide protection for your online purchases and may also provide refunds. However, although a refund claim may still be possible, debit card payments are not covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. On top of this, having the payment information of a debit card stolen could compromise your bank account. Another option would be via one of the online platforms, such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay. The online platforms can also provide greater cyber-security due to retailers not even having access to payment information.
It’s essential to ensure your connection is secure when shopping online. While using an internet browser, check the websites you are visiting are secure. You should locate the padlock icon to the left of the URL bar in order to quickly confirm the sites security. Other ways, include checking that the web address starts with ‘HTTPS’ as opposed to only ‘HTTP’.
Don’t Give Too Much Away
While you will need to provide a certain amount of personal information in order to complete your online shopping purchase, you can protect yourself by limiting the amount of information that you provide. Mandatory details such as delivery address and payment information will generally be highlighted with an asterisk. Where possible, you should always avoid providing further unrequired information. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do not plan to shop at this particular retailer often, do not create a permanent account.
Protect Your Account
Follow general cyber-security guidance when creating new accounts or completing a purchases. Always use strong passwords that you do not already use for other services or websites. Where possible, always make sure that you also turn on two-factor authentication.
For more cyber-security tips, or for any other insurance questions, please contact Bullerwell & Co Ltd today!