The secure way to shopping online

Millions of people shop online every day but how do they know that their transactions are secure.

There are a few things to look out for when shopping online which can help to improve your chances of being ripped off.

Using a trusted vendor

1. Only use sites which you are familiar with or you know have come from reputable sources.

2. If you are buying from individuals such as people on ebay or other auction sites check their history and feedback.

3. Try to use a secure method of payment such as Paypal to prevent your details being stolen.

4. Check any websites you buy from for contact details, such as name and address, privacy policy, returns policy, phone and email address.

5. Don’t assume that a site is trustworthy because it looks the part. If you are not sure about a site search the site on Google to see if any other customers have had problems using it.

6. Be aware when buying from overseas companies, the same laws we have in the UK may not apply there.

Things to look out for on secure sites:

1. Make sure you have the latest version of your browser software.

2. When entering any sensitive information check for a padlock symbol in the browser window and double click it to see the vendors security certificate.

3. Make sure the certificate is up to date, authentic and supplied by a reputable company such as Verisign or Thwarte.

4. When making payments make sure the address starts with ‘https’ which identifies a secure site.

5. If you are tempted by a deal which seems too good to be true it usually is.

6. Don’t just assume that if a site has a padlock and a secure address it is secure. Certificates can easily be obtained very cheaply or sometimes for free.

7. Always make sure you buy from secure and trustworthy sites and check them out thoroughly before you make any transactions.

What you should look out for when making online payments

1. Beware of any fake websites which may be set up to fool you into parting with your credit card details.

2. Use third party payment systems such as Paypal which verifies the sellers identity and often provides protection against fraud.

3. When paying by credit card always make sure the padlock is in the browser frame and not on the page itself. Often fraudsters create an image of a padlock on the page itself to try and prove authenticity. Double click on the padlock, if the author of the security certificate does not pop-up, beware, you are most probably on a fraudulent site.

4. Make sure the site starts with ‘https’. This may not become evident until you actually reach the page where payment details are taken.

5. If you do use a third party payment system make sure you use strong passwords and don’t give them away to anyone or leave them in a file on your PC.