How to know if a site is secure for purchasing

There’s an old adage: be weary the Trojan Horse.

There’s a reason for why it’s still relevant: when people browse the Internet they make thousands of gut-instinct judgements a week. Not only do they browse the net, but they also assess what businesses send them from it and what services they offer.

What’s the underlying concern with all this choice? The same as it is if you were doing business in person. Is a website safe, and is it something you would give your credit card or PayPal details too?

People buy things online all the time: food, items, clothes or technology. When they’re buying from the Internet, it’s important that they feel safe. It sounds ominous, but you wouldn’t give a stranger the keys to your house or your bank number without first knowing more about them.

So how do we know when a site is secure for purchasing? The reality is most people do not have time to research every single website on the Internet. Sometimes there won’t even be any extra information on a website anyway. But there are some simple indicators: if there is a padlock in the website URL bar and it features ‘https’ in the address bar (the s, believe it or not, stands for ‘secure’), then it’s a protected source.

Reliable, trusty brands are what everyone wants for business and pleasure purchases. Using PayPal to play your favourite online games or to make purchases is by far the easiest and most reliable method. Controlling your spending through a trusted platform gives the customer peace of mind that their information remains protected.

Whenever anyone is doing anything online, there is an element of confused reluctance to accept that the Internet can be a dangerous place. It is, as one visit to the junk folder in your email will confirm, just that.

The best way around this is to look for respected brands, trusted companies with an ethos of confidence that places client and user protection front and centre. That is the only way to play games, to shop and to browse online in a way that is safe; ultimately giving the trusted experience the user needs.

What is more important to a user than protection and trust?

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Alastair Stewart 81 Articles

Alastair Stewart is a freelance writer and journalist based in Edinburgh and Almería. He currently works as a journalist for The Sol Times and regularly writes about politics, history and culture for magazines across Europe.


He was formerly a press officer at the Scottish Parliament. He graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in International Relations.

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