Checking that a website is secure before giving personal financial details.

Online shoppers are always at risk when they fail to take precautions before typing in their bank codes and other vital personal information.  Despite frequent reports of online fraud and constant warnings from consumer organisations, nearly half of UK shoppers still don’t bother checking that a  website is secure before giving out personal and financial details.

A recent YouGov survey indicated that 47% of online Christmas shoppers were not checking to make sure the required payment information was encrypted.  A whopping 68% of shoppers said they didn’t check for a contact address or telephone number in the company’s ad – a very risky oversight, since without that information they would have no recourse if merchandise ordered did not arrive, or other problems occurred.

The survey further noted that Londoners are less cautious than those in some other areas.  62% of shoppers in Yorkshire, the Humber region and the North East said they checked that the site had encryption features, compared to only about 43% of Londoners.  Of all those polled in the survey, around 7% said they didn’t check for security at all.

Another YouGov survey earlier this year revealed that almost one fifth of online shoppers had been victims of fraud when making an online purchase.  Every consumer protection organisation has emphasised that online shoppers should always take the few extra seconds to check for security before clicking on that final ‘submit’.