Advertising revenues generated on the internet recently overtook TV to become the UK's leading medium, proving the overwhelming popularity of the web when it comes to buying goods and services online.
Recent figures published by accountants PriceWaterhouseCooper showed that in the first six months of 2009 internet advertising accounted for 23.5% of total UK advertising spend amounting to £1.75bn. For the first time in 50 years TV was pushed into second place for media generating advertising revenue, recording 21.9% of total spend, equivalent to £1.6bn.
Those figures reflect the inexorable rise of the internet and also the fact that many people are now using the medium as an extension of the high street and in some cases replacing it altogether.
Unfortunately, the increase in web purchasing activity has also led to an increase in the potential for online credit card fraud. To combat customers’ fears leading credit card companies are now offering internet fraud protection as part of the benefits package. In addition, enlightened providers also offer tips to ensure that their online purchasing experience is safe and secure.
Of course, customers owe a duty of care to their credit card providers online in just the same way as they do in other situations. For example, many providers will offer fraud protection just so long as the cardholder takes reasonable measures to protect their card. That includes not divulging their credit card number and associated details to a third party, other than in the course of a transaction. Never under any circumstances should a PIN number be disclosed to anyone, whether online or not. Providing those conditions have been met then card issuers will honour their promise to protect against loss.
However, whether or not you have credit card fraud protection there are a few rules that you should follow in order to minimise your exposure to risk when shopping online:
- Know the company – check out whether the company you are about to place your business with is reputable and offers good service. There are plenty of review and comparison websites, so don't just dive straight in to buying without checking. In addition, check where the online business is located. If outside Europe then rectifying any problems will be more difficult;
- Only transact on a secure website – one that has “https" in the address and usually a padlock or key symbol;
- Don't divulge credit card details in emails – which can be easily intercepted, so don't include financial details in them;
- Always check your statements – and inform any unexpected or unauthorised transactions to your bank or credit card provider.
Be assured that the vast majority of credit card transactions carried out online are completed without any problem, but if something does do wrong at least you will be protected if you have credit card internet fraud protection.
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.