Christmas business makes a significant contribution to online retailers everywhere. In the hectic run-up to Christmas, many people prefer to avoid crowded pedestrian zones and buy presents from the peace and quiet of their sofa instead. But if you don’t want any unpleasant surprises when shopping online, there are a few points you should bear in mind.
Transparency with reputable app providers
Customers who want to shop online using apps on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones should take care. “Online retailers often quote a higher price for their product in mobile applications than on their browser-based website or in-store,” says Ralph Freude, an IT expertat TÜV Rheinland. So consumers should not only compare the prices of several different providers, but also the prices offered by a retailer on its various sales platforms. But price comparison is not the only problem. “Apps generally tend to be less clearly designed than websites. This makes secure shopping more difficult,” explains Ralph Freude. For examples, references to the payment, delivery and data protection conditions and the company details are sometimes hard to find in the apps. Reputable providers are transparent and present this information clearly. This is all the more important because new cancellation laws have been in place throughout the EU since 2014, for example allowing retailers to shift the cost of returning items to the buyer.
Pay only via a secure internet connection
Caution is also required when it comes to paying. “Sensitive data such as bank details should never be sent via open WLAN networks – like those in cafés or at train stations,” advises Ralph Freude. This makes it all too easy for cybercriminals to phish the data, he says. The payment transaction should also take place via a secure web connection, identifiable from the browser address bar starting with “https”. TÜV Rheinland tests apps and online shops for aspects including adequate data protection. Consumers can find accordingly certified apps and online shops on the TÜV Rheinland websites www.checkyourapp.deand www.certipedia.com .
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