In recent years, access to technology has become relatively cheaper and is now so widespread that it is pretty much universal. This is good news for consumers, as they take full advantage of the convenience of managing their social lives, their shopping and their banking online.
But although customers love the ease with which they can shop on the internet, many people worry a great deal about the security of their personal and financial details whilst they do so. It seems that this fear is a realistic one, as according to the BBC, losses from online banking fraud rose by almost 50% last year.
How to Shop Safely Online
Of course, this is a worrying trend, but there are ways to ensure that you are shopping safely online. To check that a website is secure before you entrust it with your card details, you can check for a padlock symbol on the address bar. Also make sure that the website’s address begins with https:// (the “s” standing for secure).
Shopping on the internet is best done at home wherever possible. If you are using WiFi in a public place, you will have no way of knowing if the network is secure. If you are certain that you are using a secure network, there are other steps you can take to make a card payment safely. Be aware that when paying online, no legitimate retailer will need to ask you for your PIN or your password for internet banking (although you will need to provide the CVV2 or security code which is on the back of your card). Also websites should never save your card details to use for future purchases unless you explicitly give permission. It is generally considered much safer not to do this.
If the worst should happen, then you do have some protection under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, including “chargeback” under certain circumstances. You can learn more about these rights at the government’s website.
What Can Website Owners Do?
If you run your own website, you can certainly help to provide your customers with a safer shopping experience. It is worthwhile registering your site with Verisign, which will let purchasers know that they can complete their transaction with confidence. Consider also offering the facility to pay by PayPal for added security. Many business owners will choose to bring in an expert service to make sure that their website is running as smoothly as possible and security is tight. An example of such a service is Webfuel Ltd, who specialise in web design in Nottingham.
As an internet trader, it is certainly advisable to ensure that you offer your customers the safest, most secure way to shop that you can. When browsers have confidence that they can trust your site with their financial details, they will be much more likely to go ahead and make that purchase. In turn, you should soon find that your conversion rate can only benefit.