The Internet – What The Hell Happened?

Keeping an Eye on the Internet

Throughout history, human nature has produced types of people that for one reason or another, do not follow the social norms and turn to a life of crime.

Across ages there have been pirates, highway men, adventurers, and the years have made the names seem romantic, but in reality they were thieves, robbers, swindlers, criminals by any name.

There really isn’t anything romantic sounding about cyber-criminals, computer hackers or scammers, but they are some of the criminals we face today.

With the help of fibre optics, the internet has never been easier to access, and shopping online has spread into almost every household in the country.

And there’s plenty to like about it, with its vast range of goods and services seemingly never ending, but scammers and cyber criminals don’t just target businesses, they will target shoppers, they will target you, given the chance.

Most of the transactions we carry out will be safe and sound, but a few simple steps can help raise the security bar. Whether you are shopping online at large well known sites such as, or less well known ones like you need to employ the same caution because unscrupulous hackers can direct you to a fake site that looks exactly like the real thing.

If you have decided to buy from a site that you haven’t used before, check that it has a physical address, and preferably also a phone number.

It should display its returns policy, remember, buying online gives you the same consumer rights protection as you have in a shop. If you’re not happy with the product, you can return it for a full refund within thirty days.

When you get to the payments page, check that the address in the browser bar begins with https:/, not just http:/, The S indicates that the site has Secure Sockets Layers, which mean that your personal information, will leave your computer encrypted, to be decrypted only by the seller’s computer.

The address bar should also carry a symbol of a locked padlock, or unbroken key. These are security symbols.

Always use a credit card for your online purchases. Under the terms of the Consumer Credit Act, your credit card company protects you for almost any purchase over £100, up to £30,000, whether the product is broken, or just fails to appear.

A debit card can give you the satisfaction of knowing everything is paid for, but should the information be hacked, it can lead criminals directly to your bank account and bleed it dry, leaving you no redress.

If you are not entirely comfortable and convinced by the security of the site, poor use of language, or miss-spellings for instance, leave. In the vast world of the internet, there will be another vendor out there somewhere.