Shopping and the Internet
Has shopping ever been easier than this? Have we ever had choices as wide as this before? Have we ever been at risk of financial scamming like this before?
No, are the answers, because the phenomena of online shopping has only been with us for twenty years, and only in the last ten has really taken off.
Bricks and mortar shopping is seemingly as mature as it can get, despite efforts at “re-invention” from time to time.
Shopping online, by contrast is altering and growing as fast as the pertinent technology is growing and changing, that can offer it to us.
The more that we take for granted the ease of buying online, so should we be aware that more than just purveyors of goods are interested in our transactions.
There are electronic eyes and ears watching and listening, planning and plotting.
There is no need for security paranoia, but draw a few comparisons to real security. Would you leave your house with the front door open?
Would you leave your car keys in the ignition and walk away? Would you walk through a busy mall with a wallet hanging out of a pocket, or a purse sitting in an open basket?
Of course not, you take simple, almost unconscious precautions, and it should become as natural to do the same in the virtual world of the internet.
How likely is that an heir to millions of pounds in Hong Kong or Central Africa simply needs your bank account details to unlock the wealth, which will be all for you!
That is as likely as it is for your bank to ask you to email your financial details to them, it will never happen.
Should you get an email along these lines, be alert to any follow-ups, and do not open them. Check the name of the sender, and whether it is personally addressed, collective titles such as Dear valued customer mean “this is worth nothing at all”.
To make your online purchases, be aware of the information that the seller is asking for to complete the transaction…… use secure payment platforms like PayPal whenever possible as they protect your personal details….. you don’t have to pass over your card details on sites like this. Make sure you deem it necessary for the seller to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill in the appropriate boxes on the security page.
Remember, your personal financial information is like money, look after it.