Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Shop safe online

Shop safe online

By Tiernan Cannon

The advent of the internet has meant that products of every kind are well within our grasp, and we don’t even need to leave the house to get them.

However, online shopping does come with its own risks, as cybercriminals seek to exploit individuals shopping online. To ensure a safer experience, here are a number of steps you can take in order to make your online transactions in a secure way.

Secure payment services

By making your online purchases using secure payment services such as PayPal, you can significantly reduce your chances of your bank or payment information falling into the wrong hands. When you sign up for a PayPal account, you enter the credit cards and/or bank accounts you wish to use for purchases and once completed, you never again have to disclose your card information online.

Purchase from a familiar site

This is essentially common sense: if you know the site and/or have bought from it before, chances are it is less likely to rip you off. We’re all familiar with the likes of Amazon or major retailers’ online stores, so we know that they themselves are unlikely to rip the consumer off.

However, sites you don’t know may lead you astray. Be particularly wary of spelling mistakes or deals that seem to good to be true. When they look too good to be true, they often are. If you’re not sure, a quick Google search will often uncover previous customers’ reviews.

Lines of defence

When conducting online transactions, check that that SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption is installed on the online shop. Look for ‘HTTPS://’ rather than ‘HTTP://’ in the URL, as well as an icon of a green padlock which typically appears in your web browser’s address bar.

Antivirus software is also an absolute must, but it can prove to be expensive. Luckily there are high quality antivirus suites available for free, including AVG, Avast and Bitdefender.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.