Note to all Readers
Firefox Browser – I would advise anyone using the Firefox browser to change immediately to Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.
Firefox have been making too many changes and updates and have broken what was a very good browser. In their quest for newness they have abandoned Stability, Reliability and Safety.
Also many web sites do not display or work correctly in Firefox any more, including the Flyer. On many site you don’t even know that Firefox is missing large portions of the page or not showing all of the content.
One very unfortunate person while using Firefox to check in online for a well-known airline only entered half the required details and was charged 40 euros booking in fee at the airport. She had no idea that Firefox had missed half the page.
Shop safely online
Make sure you have a firewall switched on – this acts as a barrier between the web and your computer. Microsoft operating systems like Windows come with a firewall option which is enabled by default.
If you have a modern router like a Livebox or a Neufbox then this also has a firewall built in.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep it up to date.
Watch out for phishing emails – these are hoax emails, supposedly from banks and other financial institutions that ask you to click on a link to a website in the hope that you'll enter your account information. There are more and more online retailers being targeted by Phishing watch out for the scams.
Always type web addresses for your bank/store etc directly into your browsers address box, not into a search engine or search box, to avoid visiting bogus sites and hijacks. Using Favourites or bookmarks helps you to get the correct site quickly.
Paying by credit card is the safest option.
If you use a credit card to pay for goods worth more than £100 (and up to £30,000) your card company is jointly liable with the company that you buy from for any problems. If you use a UK Credit card, check with the card company that you have protection when buying from abroad.
Not all debit cards carry the same protection check with your bank.
For smaller purchases an e-cash system, such as PayPal, is a good alternative. This system allows you to send or receive payments securely over the web without sharing your financial details or credit card number with anyone else.
The new Google Checkout system works in a similar way to PayPal.
On the site
Be sure the site is secure before you buy, check the look and the general feel of the site, if the graphics and spelling are not perfect then something could be wrong with the site. One easy way to tell if a site is real or fake is to look at the logo, does the background colouring of the logo appear to be the same or does it appear to have been stuck on. In the two examples below one is clean and blends perfectly with the background the other is has a slightly grey back ground and is blurred, this points to a possible fake.
Shopping basket and delivery
Many websites allow you to 'View Basket' so you can check what you've added, the total cost, and how many of each item you've ordered.
To actually buy something, you'll need to click the 'Proceed to checkout' button (or equivalent) and confirm your delivery details.
Be aware that many online retailers will only deliver goods to the billing address of your credit card.
Before you pay check the site uses a secure server. Look for padlock symbol on the address bar. The web address of a secure webpage starts with https instead of http, never buy from a site that is not secure.
Enter payment details
Enter your card details including the start and expiry date. Many websites now also ask for the security code to ensure the person ordering has the card in front of them. This is on the signature strip on the back of your credit card; just enter the last 3 digits.
Some bank and credit cards also have a verification system, some requite letters from a password, some use a small calculator type device to generate a code and some telephone you a verification code.
Keep a record
Ensure you keep a record of the transaction and the order number. You should receive a receipt via email; if you have spam-filtering software, this email may end up in your junk folder.
Print it for safekeeping and keep it until your goods are delivered and credit card charged.
- Protect your computer with a firewall and anti-virus and anti-spyware software
- Guard your personal information and watch out for common scams
- Check that websites are secure before buying
- Compare prices before buying – don’t forget to include delivery costs
- Pay by credit card if you can – it gives you added protection if the goods aren’t up to standard
- You have a seven-day cooling-off period if you change your mind about something you have bought online
- You have the same rights when buying online as you do on the high street
- Check your bank and credit card statements regularly and inform your bank immediately if you suspect any fraudulent activity
- Keep and record of the contact details of the computer you have order from, if the delivery is late contact them directly.
- Check goods carefully when they arrive, if the box is damaged do not accept the delivery. It will be returned to the sender and you should receive a refund.
- Check the contents of the package carefully, small items are often left in the packaging which are crucial to the item you’ve bought.
- You should read the manual before you begin, but where’s the fun in that? if you don’t read the manual at least have a look at the quick guide to familiarize yourself the basics.