Posts Tagged ‘Online Shopping’

Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 5/5

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Tip 5 of 5
Old sayings are still as true today as they ever were.

As the saying goes; “If it’s too good to be true then it probably is.” This is as true today as it ever was.  If you see a website offering a product at an unbelievably bargain price when everyone else is selling the same item for much more, then there is a reason.  This does not mean that there are not bargains to be had out there.  If you follow the previous advice and are careful online you can save a small fortune shopping online as opposed to visiting the high street retailers.

If you know what you are looking for and want to find the best possible price, try using price comparison sites. and are two such sites that are safe to use, extensive and have thousands of online retailers listed.  They will help you find the cheapest price and also have information from other consumers, rating the products and the online shops so you have all the information at hand to make a safe and wise choice about what to buy and where from.

PC Care hope that you have found this information helpful and that you all avoid the common scams and defrauding techniques used by greedy thieves out to steal what they can throughout what is meant to be the happiest time of the year.

PC Care - Online Safety Tips - Savings can be made using the Internet to shop

Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 4/5

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Tip 4 of 5
Be wary of Phishing emails.

As there will be a huge increase in the number of online transactions being placed and parcels being dispatched and delivered all over the country for Christmas, the fraudsters will be increasing their efforts and the number of Phishing emails floating around cyber space will also increase dramatically.

A Phishing email is simply an unsolicited email received that is asking for personal information or details.  This can be done by directly asking for you to reply to the email with the requested information, trying to get you to click on a link within the email and open a webpage that may either contain a virus or again ask for you to enter personal information.  Effectively a fraudster is trying to fish (Phish) for details they can use for either fraud or identity theft.  Most Phishing emails are very obvious and easy to spot in an instant.  Unfortunately sometimes they are not so easy to spot and tens of thousands of people get caught out by them every year.

Common Phishing emails include some of the following:-

  • Emails from couriers or parcel delivery companies saying there has been a problem with delivery, please click on the link within the email or ring a premium rate telephone number for it to be redelivered.
  • Emails supposedly from your bank or building society stating that they are doing some routine security check or updating the information they have on file or that an attempt has been made access your account and you need to contact them urgently.  Again these generally contain a link within the email to click on and will attempt to get you to enter your account details or passwords.
  • As many people will be sending emails to friends and relatives for Christmas, and may be trying to save on postage or reduce the amount of paper or card consumed each Christmas, digital e-cards will be more popular than ever and again, there will be may fake or fraudulent Christmas greeting e-cards potentially containing viruses or malware.  If you intend to send e-cards to friends or family, it is usually best to just send them a quick standard email first, letting them know that you are about to send an e-card.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of Phishing emails circulating around.  There are new ones being thought up every day and it would be impossible to try and list them all but stay vigilant and don’t open any emails that you suspect may be a Phishing email.  It is also a good investment to install a good anti-spam program onto your computer, as this will help eliminate the vast majority of Phishing emails.

PC Care - Scam Email 1

Scam Email Sample 1 (click to see larger image)

PC Care - Scam Email sample 2

Scam Email Sample 2 (click to enlarge)

Check back tomorrow for Tip 5

Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 3/5

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Tip 3 of 5
Make sure your details are secure.

Once you have browsed an online store and found the items you want and added them to your basket/shopping cart, you will be ready to click on the checkout or place order button.  From this point on you will be entering private and confidential information such as your name, address, contact numbers, and card details.  These should only ever be entered into a website using a secure connection.

Most modern web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox, clearly indicate when a site is secure.

Each web browser is slightly different, but fundamentally you should be looking for the same things, just potentially they can be displayed in different places.  The first thing to look out for is that the web address of the site you are on changes.  Normally the address bar will display a sites address proceeded by http://.  When you have entered a secure page it should change to https:// indicating that the data about to be transmitted will be done via a secure server.

This should go hand in hand with a symbol of a padlock being displayed to again indicate that the site is secure.  If you get one of these, but not the other, do not enter any personal information into the page.  Firefox operates slightly differently in that when on a secure server, the name of the website appears at the left of the address bar.  If you click here it will display information about the sites security and display the padlock.

General browsing of the store and looking at the items it sells is fine to do via a standard connection and does not need to be secure as you are not transmitting any information about yourself, but as soon as you are about to send any personal information via the website it should be done via a secure connection and the site should automatically switch to a secure server displaying a https:// address with a padlock.

Below are some sample images taken from some of the most common and popular Web Browsers.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer - Unsafe

Internet Explorer - Unsafe


Internet Explorer - Unsafe

Internet Explorer - Secure


Google Crome

Google Chrome - Unsafe

Google Chrome - Unsafe

Google Chrome - Secure

Google Chrome - Secure



Firefox - Unsafe

Firefox - Unsafe

Firefox - Secure

Firefox - Secure

Check back tomorrow for Tip 4

Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 2/5

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Tip 2 of 5
Look for a valid contact/mailing address, or a contact telephone number.

There are a lot of websites out there that look very convincing and genuine, offering the same products as every other reputable trader, but once your order is placed and they either have your money or worse still you Credit Card or Debit Card details, they disappear into fresh air and you never see your ordered good or your money again.

These websites are fakes, they spring up, operate for a few days or weeks and then disappear once they have defrauded many innocent shoppers out of their money.  Its not always easy to spot a fake online retailer and tell them apart from a genuine one, however there are a few basic checks you can do to help identify these dodgy sites.

Look for a real world office/warehouse/postal address.  Most legitimate online retailers do not have anything to hide and will have a page somewhere on their site that will say something like ‘Contact Us’ and list all their contact details, including an address.  Some may have a page that says ‘About Us’ and again gives all the relevant information about the person or company you are dealing with.

Check for a valid contact phone number, and if you have any doubts give it a ring and see if you get an answer.  If you do and the retailer is genuine they should be only too happy to answer any questions and put your mind at ease that they are genuine.  A good question to ask is something along the lines of, “If I place an order with you today, where will my order be dispatched from and how long will delivery take approximately?”  If they hesitate or can’t give you a location it could be a good sign they are not genuine.

Check the internet to see if anyone else has had dealings with the website.  Most genuine online shops will be listed somewhere on a review site where shoppers can rate their performance and satisfaction with the online store.  Likewise if the store is a fake then usually there will be various posts and entries on consumer websites warning other consumers.  Simply type the shops/retailers name into google and see what comes up.

If in doubt, err on the side of caution and look elsewhere, the same goods and products will be available from many other sites and although sometimes can appear to be a little more expensive, will at least offer you peace of mind that your money and goods are safe.

PC Care - On-line safety guide - location

Check back tomorrow for Tip 3


Top 5 Online Shopping Tips – 1/5

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Over the course of the next few days PC Care are going to be posting their top 5 tips for keeping safe while shopping online, particularly over the Christmas period when online transactions increase dramatically as does the efforts of the scammers, fraudsters and identity theives.

Tip 1 of 5
If possible ALWAYS use a Credit Card to perform online purchases.

With a Credit Card shoppers have much more protection when purchasing items over the internet.  Also Credit Cards are not directly linked to your bank account so if you should be caught out while shopping online, your current account should remain untouched.

If you do not have, are unable to get, or don’t simply don’t want to have a Credit Card there are a multitude of other payment options such as prepaid cards, where a set amount is put onto a card and this can be topped up as and when required. If a fraudster gets hold of the prepaid card details, they can only obtain whatever funds are left on that card and cannot empty your entire bank account.  You also get a similar level of cover and protection as you would with a standard Credit Card so should you
fall victim to fraud you can your money back.

If you tend to purchase a lot of items via the internet and have always used a Debit Card in the past, look out for a rewards credit card that either offers a cash back return for every item you purchase using the Credit Card or has some other loyalty or bonus scheme that interests you.  If you are able to use the Credit Card for all your online shopping and pay the balance off in full every month, it does not cost you a penny to use the credit card, offers a higher level of protecting and come back should things go wrong, and who knows, if used enough could accrue enough cash back, or loyalty points to get yourself a little treat.

PC Care Dronfield - Online Security Tips 1 0f 5

Check back tommorow for Tip 2.

Peak Time for Virus Attacks/Online Scams.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

The festive season is almost upon us and the next few weeks will be the peak time for online transactions and shopping being done via the Internet as everyone rushes to order gifts and presents in time for Christmas delivery.

Unfortunately because of this increased financial activity via the internet, all the fraudsters, online scammers and identity thieves will be busy too trying to cash in on this increased Intenet activity.  This will go hand in hand with an increase in virus and malware activity as they will be using various combinations of Trojans, Keyloggers, and Hoaxware to con, steal and defraud Christmas shoppers out of their money.  Be extra vigilant online at this time of year and make sure that you have an up to date Internet Security package installed, and hopefully you will not fall victim to these parasites during the festive period.

Increased virus activity over Christmas Period - PC Care Dronfield