Internet shopping is a common pastime for all family members these days, whether it is mum buying a new chest freezer, dad treating himself to the latest James Bond DVD, or the kids buying credits to play online games. However, many parents worry about whether the websites they are using are secure. There are many ways to keep your identity, bank details and credit cards details safe online.
First of all, spot the signs for a genuine website. Is it well-produced and laid- out? Has a professional job been done with logos, photos and product information? Or are links badly constructed, and text poorly translated, such as “click here for electric shower from Mira”?
When you make a purchase through a secure connection, the retailer’s web address should change from “http” to “https” and you will usually see a padlock or key symbol at the bottom of the page. However, before you decide to get shower trays from Mira at any old online shop, be aware that, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (an industry association set up to fight scams), thieves can now fake both the “https” and even the padlock or key in order to try to convince you to enter your credit or debit card details for their use.
To avoid this, shop from sites that your friends have recommended to you as being reliable and efficient. Make sure that you have personally entered the web address in your browser, rather than clicking on a link from another website. A further step to take is to double-click on the padlock symbol when it appears on the website. If the address displayed doesn’t match the security certificate, don’t continue with the transaction. Most internet browsers can also be set to alert you if the site you are dealing with is insecure, but it doesn’t hurt to be alert yourself.