In 2013, UK shoppers spent £91bn online, with that number rising to a colossal £107bn during 2014. This represented a growth of 16% in 2013 from the previous year, and a further 17% in 2014. Following this curve, in 2015 we’ll have made more than £125bn of online purchases in the UK. That’s roughly £1,174 for each person during the year, accounting for about 15.2% of all retail sales.
The reasons for the rapidly expanding online market include increased availability online – with major retailers building market shares – and easier transaction processes. However, one of the key factors is the increase in trust in online providers and third party payment sites. People are no longer as sceptical of shopping online, although there is cause for concern in disregarding the dangers of online purchasing.
Online shopping poses two significant threats to shoppers: invasion and deception. Invasion involves the threat of viruses and spyware infiltrating device and stealing valuable information and secure data. Deception occurs when online fraudsters set up websites, posing as legitimate businesses or trusted retailers.
In order to protect yourself against both kinds of online crime, there are certain measures you can take to increase security.
It may sound obvious but not everyone takes the time to install anti-virus and malware programmes on their devices. It’s necessary to use an effective security programme and ensure it’s up to date. In addition, make sure your security settings are optimised. Keep browsers current and run diagnostics tests to detect security loopholes.
Before finalising any purchase, make sure the checkout area is secure, using secure sockets layer (SSL) technology to encrypt information. This is typically indicated by a padlock icon and the prefix ‘https’ instead of ‘http’.
Your password is like the lock on your front door. If it’s weak and flimsy, people can just kick it in and help themselves. Use a mix of lower and upper case, numbers and punctuation. And don’t use the same password for everything.
It’s often recommended to use credit cards rather than debit cards, as you have more recourse to reclaim taken fraudulently. There are also spending limits. However, your best option is to use a card specifically for online purchases. These virtual cards can have set limits and be turned off when not in use, meaning no one else can have access to your money.
This is exactly the idea behind Soldo, a new online account and app using innovative and secure debit cards. Soldo lets you take better control of your money when shopping online, with additional card options to keep your family safe too.
With online shopping showing signs of increased growth and more retailers switching to online only services, staying safe when making purchases is more important than ever. That’s why now might be the right time to switch to Soldo.