87% of UK consumers bought something online in the last 12 months. 1 in 10 was a victim of fraud. Quick Loans Express explores how to stay safe online and beat the fraudsters.
Stay Safe Online
Who doesn’t shop online in this day and age? However, did you know online shopping is a top target for fraudsters? The Get Safe Online campaigners in a recent report said online fraud cost the UK around £10.9 billion in 2016. That’s a monstrous £210 per adult!
Fraudsters often trick online shoppers into believing that they are a real company selling the real thing. However, you should be aware that fraud does not only refer to money. Breaches of data that give people your personal details like your phone number or email are also considered fraud. When you get spammy emails or cold callers; that is fraud.
It is possible to avoid this type of crime; you must know what to look out for. Before we give you any tips, the most obvious advice is to remember that if something is too good to be true; it probably is. No one is giving away free iPhones. Be vigilant.
In this article, Quick Loans Express a safe online same day loans lender, talk you through how to stay safe online especially when shopping.
How to Stay Safe Online – What to look for
A secure site will always have ‘https’ before their URL.
If you want to know the reason why this is secure – well here it is: HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Is there something missing? Yes, there is! Remember we told you to make sure there is an ‘S’. That ‘S’ ensures you have that extra security which keeps fraudsters at bay. Not all websites will have HTTPS on all their website, but if you are going to use these websites, they must have it on the checkout page. Don’t pay without making sure it’s there or at least use a payment provider like PayPal!
Is the payment provider legitimate?
Many online shops will not process the payments themselves – instead, they use a payment provider. This is because they haven’t got the time to check your card details and check you aren’t a fraudster or that the payment makes sense. Paypal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, World Pay, etc. Some online shops allow you to make payments of their site; others may transfer you to a different page to complete the payment.
So how do you know if that is legitimate? Well, most of the time, the online website will tell you if the payment provider will open in a separate ‘window’. When this does open, make sure that the URL is correct, like paypal.com. Google whether that is the legitimate website of the payment provider. For example, is it paypal.com or paypal.co.uk. If it is the wrong one, cancel the payment and contact the shop immediately.
Is the URL real?
Often criminals target specific websites and duplicate them to make them look legitimate. They look and work the same so you may be surfing it, and you won’t even notice. However, it is easy to spot whether it is legitimate as no two website addresses can be the same. Google the legitimate one and make sure it matches.
Online Safety: Things to Avoid
Only provide relevant details
Obviously, there is certain information that you need to provide during online shopping to tell them who you are. However, they shouldn’t need any of your sensitive data. This includes ethnic background, religious or political beliefs, mental health history, or ‘criminal data’. Stay safe online and think are the details they are asking you necessary.
Companies love sending emails introducing you to sale and offers. This is a good way for them to attract customers and make money. However, fraudsters feed off these types of emails by copying templates and pretending to be that company. Again, it is easy to spot them if you are careful.
- Are you signed up for the company emails and you expect emails like this?
- Does the ‘from’ address look real? (For example, firstname.lastname@example.org is real, email@example.com is not!)
- Check the subject line for grammatical mistakes. Companies pay lots of money for emails to be produced; they don’t allow silly mistakes to be sent out.
- Is the subject line addressed to you or is it vague, for example; Dear Customer? Quick Loans Express, offering fast loans in the UK, will always address you with your name.
- Is it too good to be true? If it doesn’t make sense, send it straight to junk or delete it!
- Does it look legitimate – is the font and branding correct?
- Check the link is correct. You can do this by hovering over the link, and a yellow box at the corner of your screen will appear which tells you where the link is going. Check that it takes you to the same place it says it will.
Keeping safe online is not limited to buying things online. Whenever you input information online, make sure it is as safe and secure as possible.
Change your Passwords regularly
Make sure your passwords are complicated and random. They should not be your birthday or the place that you live; they should be nothing about you. Also, do not store them anywhere.
|Use the 3 random word rule for good practice. It includes:|
|3 random words||A capital letter||A number||Punctuation|
|For example: b00tWhat1hello&|
Firewalls are like security walls to use on desktop computers. They block you from accessing dodgy websites such as short-term loan sharks. Firewalls or antivirus protection is available online or in most computer screens. You can download free ones, or you can pay for better firewall and defence packages.
Update Your Device
After making sure your personal photos and information are secure in another safe location, update your device when asked to. Updates usually come with updated security and fraudsters will find your device harder to access.
The Best E-safety Tip
If something doesn’t feel right it is better not to take the risk. Keep one step ahead of the criminals and of course be vigilant. We hope you have found how to stay safe online advice useful and find more useful life tricks, including understanding instant payday loans on our Quick Loans Express blog.