4 steps to securing yourself for online shopping

10-June

Online security has been in the news more times than anyone can remember. Scams, phising attacks and all the other hacking stories don’t leave you feeling very secure. To top it all off, you have stories surfacing of retailers, so called reputable companies and even government selling off your personal details for a “quick buck”. That’s why you get those annoying phone calls at 20:00 hours from someone trying to sell you a new phone or even worse some ridiculous recorded message.

E-commerce is much more convenient than conventional shopping and often more entertaining. You can see much more products online in the same time frame it would take in a conventional retail store. The benefits are undeniable but when it comes to paying, understandably there are a lot of people that worry. Of course you should. The hassle of having your card details copied or your account cleared is not pleasant. We know from experience.

Being vigilant is the best way to secure yourself physically and even when online.

Here are 4 steps to ensuring your details are always secure online and you can happily experience the joys and convenience of the online shopping world…

1. Always make sure the website is reputable.

Does it look professional? Are there contact details available? Is their “About us page” clear and concise? All these things are there to open up to you as the buyer, to let you know more about the company and form that opening line for you as the buyer and hopefully a good relationship.

2. If there are any pop-up ads, gross spelling mistakes or when you click on a new page it redirects to another site, get off straight away.

These sites are there as landing pages to try and steer you to another site where your details could be compromised. The same can be said for the pop-up ads, these can sometimes be found on reputable websites trying to lead you astray to a bogus one. Number 1 ties in here. Be vigilant and if something makes you uncomfortable at any stage of your shopping or browsing don’t give your details.

3. Do a little bit of research on the payment gateway.

Reputable online retailers will make this information readily available and easy to view. Your security should be their main priority too. It’s all part of delivering a top quality experience. Things to look out for when viewing the gateway are:

  • The bit encryption. Anything less than 256 bit encryption is not good enough. This is the highest available at the moment and it is a solid rock to try and crack. Protect yourself and go for the highest rate, always.
  •  Read up on back-ups and server details. They should have dedicated servers that are regularly backed-up and secure as well as being monitored on a weekly basis for any sort of cyberattacks.

Again, if the company is worth its salt, they will make this information readily available.

In actual fact, if your bank is only using a 128 bit encryption and you are shopping online with an e-commerce retailer offering 256 bit encryption, your details are actually safer than if you were shopping in a conventional store. That’s an interesting thought isn’t it?

It’s safer to shop online than to go to a mall to do so. Not only is the actual transaction safer online but there are no physical security threats in the comfort of your own home either.

4. You should only be billed for what you want.

The price you see should be the price you pay. “Extra delivery fees” or “royalties” are a huge no-no. If you add an item to your cart at a given value that is what should come out of your account. Simple. No hidden fees or charges. Always read the fine print, just for your own piece of mind.
Security plays a big part in our lives today. Beyond the physical security aspects we have to take into account there are now online security aspects too. If you consider point number 3, the online security is one less worry and if you factor in that you shop online, from your living room, the physical security increases too.

You have enough things to worry about. Online shopping is no longer one of them.

We would love to hear of your e-commerce stories, good or bad and how you think e-commerce could improve for you. Please feel free to contact us here or on our various social media platforms.