|Written by Paul Scott|
|Thursday, 19 November 2009 18:54|
Online shopping allows us to shop from the comfort of our own homes and also opens up the whole world as a shopping mall; we can purchase hot air balloon trips for special occasions or the weekly shop. We can now sell our own products and goods through sites such as ebay. Browse through the information below and use the links at the bottom of the page for further information. Thousands of people now book holidays and short breaks via the Internet allowing them to choose their own flights and accommodation rather than purchasing package solution from traditional vendors. Everything available in the high street is now available online and there is often a greater variety of products at cheaper prices. It is generally thought that shopping online is as safe or safer than other methods of shopping as long as you are aware of the points below.
Be aware: Are your children purchasing things online? If so, how are they doing this as the vast majority need some kind of credit / debit card payment or use an online payment method such as Paypal that links to a bank account. Are your children using your credit / debit cards without your knowledge? Children do tend to purchase ringtones using their mobile phones but they do need to be aware of the sites they are downloading from as some sites end up charging more than you think and children / adults can end up signing up more multiple downloads over a period of time costing them a lot of money when they only wanted a single ringtone. Try and use companies you know have a good reputation as they are more likely to be more straight forward with their business online and often provide telephone support if there are problems. Encourage children to discuss purchases with you and to read the details of the purchase carefully. Always check your statements carefully and where possible use credit / debit cards that have online fraud protection incase you do have problems.
When purchasing online the website should direct you to a secure server for payment. Check the address in your browser begins with https:// not the normal http:// and that there is a little padlock at the end of the address bar.
This signifies a secure network connection has been established to prevent others on the Net accessing your data as it is sent to and from your machine. If you are using a wireless connection at home make sure it is encrypted to prevent anybody trying to intercept your data as it travels from your laptop / PC to your Internet wireless router (for more information about this contact your Internet Service Provider).
If you are purchasing goods through websites such as ebay then check out the history of the person you are buying from and make sure that they have sold through ebay before and that the customers were happy with the goods they purchased (further details are available at www.ebay.co.uk ). You can also use payment methods such as Paypay that will help protect you if you do not receive the goods you paid for. Several credit / debit cards can now offer a verification service which is the online equivalent to chip & pin and will ask for a password to verify online payments. Verified by Visa. SecureCode for Mastercard
Be aware of e-mails that are sent to you that claim to be from your bank or other organisations that have any of your bank / credit / debit card details. These companies will never directly email you to want confirmation of your account details. Any such information changes or validation will occur when you log into your account online. This is known as 'Spoofs' or 'phishing' and is responsible for thousands of people losing money to fraudsters every year. Many of the e-mails use headings and images from the websites they claim to be from and look extremely authentic. If you receive such an e-mail contact your bank, ebay, etc. to report it using the links you normally use not any links that occur in the e-mail.
Millions of us are now shopping online. It's convenient, there's more choice and you can often save money. It's also safe and secure so long as you take a few simple steps first. Ofcom has published a video setting out steps consumers can take and things they should look out for when shopping online.
Click here to acces this video (this is on youtube)
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 17:23|