It is a fact that in 2014 UK online retail sales totalled £44.97 Billion. The forecast for 2015 is £52.25 Billion. This means the average UK consumer will spend £1174 online during 2015. Nevertheless there are still those who are sceptical about buying online. They are quite right to be cautious as fraud has been with us in various guises since money was invented. However, there are a few basic steps to stay safe while buying online.
Make sure you have an up to date anti-virus – it’s not good enough to have one if it has expired or is out of date. Keep it current and keep it up to date.
Before you make your online purchase, i.e. before you type in your card number, look at the ‘Address Bar’ at the top of the page: you are now looking to see that the website address starts with https:// – if it starts http:// it is NOT a secure page. If it is a secure page there will also be a PADLOCK symbol somewhere in the address bar near the website address. If you have https AND a padlock then you may proceed with the purchase.
Finally, for the completely terrified and sceptical, get a separate credit card that you use just for online purchases. As an alternative set up a PayPal account which can be linked to your Debit Card – PayPal is now widely accepted as an alternative form of payment by many online retailers.