Shopping online provides the convenience of making purchases from your living room. More people are discovering the many benefits of online shopping, but it is important to take steps in protecting your loved one.
What are the Benefits?
- Convenience – Probably the biggest perk. There are no queues to wait in, there is the opportunity to shop 24 hours a day, and it can be finished in minutes!
- Save money – There are lots more deals online and it is much easier to compare prices with different online shops.
- More variety – Online shopping provides a far bigger selection of colours and sizes in comparison to local shops.
- Sending gifts is easier – All the packaging and shipping is done for your loved one and sometimes, they even gift wrap the item.
- No crowds – There is no rush to find a parking space or catch a bus. Plus you can shop at a leisurely pace, without feeling hurried.
Things to look out for
Research the website before purchasing
There are thousands of websites to chose from and whilst the vast majority are legitimate, there are some fraudulent ones too. Because of this, it’s important to research before buying. If your loved one is using a website you’ve never heard of before, search online to check for any negative feedback.
Check the Policies
When purchasing from an online store, it’s good to know the delivery times and where the item is being sent from. Most websites will provide an average delivery time and whilst it may not always be correct, it’s useful to have an estimate. A UK or European based seller should be able to deliver within a week.
Equally, it’s important to know what the returns policy is. If the website doesn’t seem to have one, then there is a reason to be suspicious. Knowing what the policy is will help if something is not delivered on time or arrives broken.
Make Sure the Website is Secure
Furthermore, only ever put your card details into a secure website. There are a few signs to look out for to ensure the website is secure and that your loved one’s financial information can’t be seen by anyone else.
- Padlock Symbol – Look for a padlock symbol in the browser next to the website address.
- Website Address – The address should start with “https://“. This letter S stands for secure.
- Green Address Bar – On some web browsers, the website address bar will turn green.
- Valid Certificate – Websites that offer secure payments need a security certificate. To view this, click on the padlock symbol to check the seller is who they say they are.
Tips for Online Shopping
- Your loved one will never be asked for their card PIN number. However, they may be asked the security number, commonly referred to as “the last three digits on the back.”
- If the website has a pop-up warning about the website’s security certificate, be careful. This pop-up may take them to a fake website where someone else may have access to the information being used.
- Try to stick with online retailers that have are well known. For example, high street shops with a good reputation like Marks and Spencer.
- If a discount looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
- If the website requires a log in, be sure to log out when finished. This means that anyone using the computer afterwards can’t access any information.
- Lastly, if your loved one has a credit card, these can be better for online purchases – Particularly if the purchase costs more than £100. This is because the seller and card company are equally responsible if anything were to go wrong.
Staying Safe at Home
These are some very useful tips which will help your loved one to stay safe online. If you feel that they need a little more security at home, our personal alarms could be what you are looking for. You learn more in our in-depth guide, or by getting in touch with our Customer Service Team on 0800 101 3333 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.