I have been banking and doing many other transactions online for many years now. I also take security very seriously. One thing I will never do though, is to buy anything online with a debit card. This is not so much because I am afraid that someone at the other end will drain my account, but because there is little or no legal protection if the transaction goes wrong.
When you buy goods to the value of £100 or more (up to £10,000 I think) on a credit card, you can nearly always recover any loss from the CC company. This does not apply to debit cards.
I check my bank account and CC account several times a week. This ensures that if anything odd turns up, I will be on to it quickly. Compare this with the olden days when we had to wait for a printed statement.
From the security point of view, the important thing is to have strong password - or better still phrases. You must use some nonsense words that will not be in a dictionary, and if you can, some other symbols. It is far better to have strong passwords that you have to write down, than to have weak ones you can remember - this is because any hacker will have access to ready made lists of all the names, and words, together with their common variations. Substituting '1' for 'i', or '0' for 'o' is a waste of time and will not hold them up one bit.
It may be simples for the majority and I would concur that you can get some great deals online, but if you live in some parts of the country (and I'm not just talking the isles and Highlands), the delivery charges (if a firm will deliver) negate for the most part any savings. Also, again quite frequently as in the case of white goods for example, like Snowball's fridge, one might pay for the removal of the old one as part of the package - but find it doesn't apply (and you don't get your money back!), because of your location.
I think those of you with Internet banking would have had great fun this last month if you lived here - it's been hard to get online a lot of the time!
You are quite correct FJ. The only counter that I can suggest is that this is one of the downsides, like expensive fuel, that you pay for the benefit of living on an island. No doubt internet services will improve over time, but I suspect that services like deliveries will always be more expensive. After all, it does actually cost more to deliver to you than to me.
Your right there FJ, I noticed on EBay that they are now treating anywhere North of Perth as being in the "Western Isles"They have a long list of post codes, where they will charge extra postage costs?Even our old post code of IV 36 is on the list, and that's still on the mainland? (26 miles East of Inverness)
Just a point here re debit cards. You have protection and the bank has to claim "draw back" on your behalf. They will argue the toss over it but it is in law and features many times in BBC consumer programmes.
I knew it wouldn't take long, they were not supposed to make any changes in procedures for at least two years, yet they have already announced that.........."in order to stay competitive they will have to consider stopping delivering mail to the more remote parts of the U.K"But we all knew that when it was announced that the were selling the postal service, that was on the cards, but it's still annoying?....."angry smiley"