UK retail sales are up 3.8% compared to last year, and many of these now have good quality online operations to support their high street operations. This has led to a UK online sales increase of 11.2%, and there are now over £52 billion of sales expected in 2015. The prices of goods are just over 3% cheaper than last year, so consumers can get a little more for their hard-earned cash.
Last Friday was ‘Black Friday’ and yesterday was ‘Cyber Monday’. With more emphasis by retailers to time limited online offers, consumers are easily tempted in with bargain purchases. However eager you are to snap up that pre-Christmas bargain, just slow down a little. It’s easy to keep your eyes on the prize, but forget about shopping online safely and securely. Here are some tips to keep you cyber safe when shopping online.
Check the actual web address of the website you’ve found or been sent to. Spoof sites are being setup on a daily basis, and there are literally millions of phoney web pages advertising real products. They even mimic the real retailers online shopping cart experience, and take you to a payment page, which again looks legit. However, you’ll never see the goods. Your cash will go into a criminal’s bank account, and your card details will be sold online in the ‘dark web’ for around £10, and that includes the CVC code too.
When you’re on the payment page, look for the small padlock icon in the top of the web browser. Some browsers change their address bar to be green if it is a ‘trusted’ site. If it goes red, then close the browser and shop online somewhere else. Don’t take any chances.
Be cautious of special offers in emails. Be careful following links, they may be to a spoof website.
Check your bank statements regularly for small transactions, or strange payees. If you see these phone your bank straight away.
Be sure to bag some online bargains, but don’t get cyber headache in the process.
ONS website http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rsi/retail-sales/october-2015/stb-rsi-october-2015.html
Get Safe Online https://www.getsafeonline.org/shopping-banking/shopping1/