12 Golden Rules of SOS (Safe Online Shopping)

12 Golden Rules of SOS (Safe Online Shopping)

As we approach the Retail Mecca of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Christmas, Retail Excellence, the Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland and An Garda Siochana (Irish Police Force) have produced a SOS (Safe Online Shopping) campaign for online shoppers.

According to the BBC there were 3.6 million cases of fraud and 2 million computer misuse offences in the UK in 2016, showing an 8% increase in the YoY figures. According to the BBC article there are two broad categories of ‘computer misuse’ crimes:

i.                     Unauthorized access to personal information including hacking.

ii.                   Computer virus, malware or other incidents such as DDoS attacks aimed at Online Services.

On a global scale it is forecast that the cost of cybercrime will reach $2 Trillion by 2019 which will be more than a threefold increase on the 2015 estimated figures of $500 Billion.

In partnership with Europol, An Garda Siochana have produced the following 12 Golden Rules for Safe Online Shopping (SOS):

DO’s of SOS

  • Only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with. Make sure to check the ratings of individual sellers on sites such as Amazon and eBay.
  • Be aware how to control the recurring charge if paying for a continuous service online.
  • Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details online.
  • Use credit cards when purchasing things online. Most credit cards have a strong customer protection policy.
  • Make sure the data transfer is appropriately protected. Look for the padlock symbol on the URL bar and use HTTPS and SSL protocols when browsing.
  • Always save all documents related to your online purchases, these can act as proof you have paid for the goods plus the terms and conditions that may have applied.

DON’T’s of SOS

  • If you are not buying a specific product or service, don’t submit your card details.
  • When purchasing something online from another person, do not send money up front, try to reserve the right to receive the goods first.
  • Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know online.
  • Never send your Card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email.
  • Avoid doing your online shopping at sites that don’t use full authentication (Verified by Mastercard/Visa Secure Code).
  • Never send your card details in an unencrypted email.

RML Marketing & Business Development Solutions wish you a very happy & safe online shopping season and hope that the above pointers will help in some way to combat fraud and cyber crime over the coming months.

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