Safer online shopping guide
Shopping online need not be a worry. By following our guide you can significantly reduce the risks of something going wrong, and we can offer advice on what to do if things do go wrong. You may also find our guide “internet security and how to protect yourself” useful.
The biggest concern
that most online shoppers have, is the security of their details and
what happens to them. The easiest way to allay your concerns is to shop
with reputable brands. Don’t assume that if they don’t have a
renowned presence on the high street that they cannot be trusted, as
some of the best internet retailers such as Amazon.co.uk
do not have a high street presence.
When you are entering
your credit/debit card details ensure that the server is encrypted.
There are two ways you can check this, firstly the web address will
start with “https://”, rather than the standard “http://”, with
the letter ‘s’ which means secure server. The second sign that you
are on a secure server is that the will be a small padlock symbol
displayed somewhere in your browser. The position of this symbol varies
depending upon the browser type and version that you have, but normally
it would appear at the bottom right hand side (above and to the left of
your clock), or somewhere beside the address bar (the section that you
type website address’ into).
If the server you are on is encrypted (also know as a secure server), this is a security measure designed to stop hackers gaining access to secure information (eg your credit/debit card number). I would advise that you do not make any purchases from a none secure server.
Your rights (United Kingdom)By shopping online you not only beat the queues in the shops, but you also get the same rights as you would if you were buying from the shops, as well as some additional rights. When you buy from the high street or online you are protected by the ‘
In brief, the sale of goods act states that the products you buy must;
Under the distance selling regulations, online retailers must;
Further adviceWhen shopping online it is advised that you pay for purchases on a credit card (rather than a debit card) as UK laws protect credit card users far more than what they otherwise would be.
Always print a copy of
the invoice as a reference in case something goes wrong.
Before you click the
last button to confirm the transaction, ensure that the prices and
delivery costs are what you thought they were, and that no extra costs
have been added.
Before you make a purchase, check the retailers after sales policy, and remember, this policy is in addition to your statutory rights.
For more information on consumer rights go to www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.