|Written by James Steele|
The ability to shop online is great isnât it? Itâs supposed to be hassle free right? Well that should be the case but sometimes problems occur. Major problems. Credit card fraud can be nothing short of a nightmare.
This can happen in a variety of ways, but mainly itâs down to you. Take the necessary precautions to keep things like keystroke loggers from being installed on your system. Run antivirus scans, use patch management software and update your browser. There are also additional precautions you can take to shop online securely.
There are signs you should be looking out for on the website itself that shows itâs secure. Ever seen a padlock somewhere on the browser? If the padlock is broken or opened, the site is not secure. Have you seen SSL (Secure Socket Layer) written on a site? That means no one but the merchant can see your payment information. Also, recently introduced is the âsâ on the end of âhttpâ. This is a much more secure site than its predecessor. Most of the well-known merchants have changed to this.
Resist the urge to buy products in internet cafes or using other open public Wi-Fi. Whilst it might be free, security is not strong like your Wi-Fi at home. Hackers have been known to lurk and use public Wi-Fi to steal unsuspecting victimâs details. Learn more about using public Wi-Fi hotspots securely. If you are using a public PC, make sure the browser isnât saving your login details.
Avoid sending payment via email. Email scams continue to be a good method of gaining peoples details â accounts can be hacked easily. Also, be wary of email attachments like word docs which require you to fill out your details. Some attachments when opened install a virus or keystroke logger. Worst of all, itâs silent and you may never know your activities are being watched.
Try searching for the website in a search engine and see what previous customers have said. Is there a recurring problem being highlighted? As well as looking for a secure site, youâll want a good shopping experience â one without hassle. Maybe they have a habit of posting the wrong items or their returns process is making people pull their hair out.
Most of all, use our gut instinct. If you think a site looks less than kosher, donât risk it. Weâve all seen sites which look like theyâve been made by a 10 year old. This doesnât mean that all cyber criminals arenât taking the time when making their site.
Sometimes you canât prevent viruses and malware infiltrating your system. Check your credit cards policy for fraud as some might protect you and your money so you donât lose out.