Shopping safely online

By Richard Churchill – First Published May 2011

Online shopping is one of the great conveniences of modern life, you can find almost anything, anywhere in the world and have it shipped to your door. However shopping online can be a worrying and confusing experience, if you are not confident that the website you are going to buy from is real, secure and well regarded.

Internet shopping is at least as safe as buying over the phone and in some ways gives you better rights than buying on the high street. I have put together my top tips for making sure you only deal with genuine honest websites.

If you know the name of the company you want to buy from, search for their name, all companies of a reasonable size will be listed 1st 2nd and probably 3rd when you search for them. The scam websites don’t want to invest the time and resources required to appear at the top of the search rankings.

An online search also allows you to check the reputation of the company you plan to buy from, along with the official sites of the company. The search results will also turn up other mentions of them on the internet. This allows you to see what others are saying about them. If you are using a service like Froogle (Google shopping) you will get a star rating based on user reviews

Once you are on a website there are still more ways to check you are safe. Firstly pay attention to any warnings from you computer’s security system, most of the anti-virus companies include fraud prevention systems that will warn you if you are on a suspect website.

Finally before you enter you card details look for a padlock in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, this shows that only you and the website can see what you have typed, preventing others from stealing your details.
To make things even easier the padlock has now been joined on new computers by a green address bar. When you see the padlock, the bar at the top of the screen with the website address in it should go green.

Going further

If you are fortunate enough to live in Bristol or South Gloucestershire and wold like help with your computer why not give us a call? You can call us on 01454 616365 or use our contact form and we will call you back.