Frequently asked questions
The main dangers of online shopping are information theft and fraud. Minimise these dangers by buying from reputable sellers. In addition, pay attention to security. When entering credit card or other payment information, the web page address should begin with "https" rather than just "http" (as the "s" indicates that information you send via the web page is encrypted). Also, protect your computer with good and up-to-date security, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. And remember: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
As a general rule, an employer cannot read an email without the consent of both the sender and recipient. Exceptions include intercepting business emails to: (1) ascertain regulatory compliance; (2) detect unauthorised use; and (3) prevent/detect criminal activity. Your employer should take all reasonable measures to avoid opening personal emails -- even those sent from a workplace email account. Moreover, if your employer monitors your use of email and collects personal data, it must tell you how it intends to use the information and use it only for that purpose.
The practical answer is no, you cannot write whatever you want online. You need to bear in mind a myriad of potential legal issues, including the laws of defamation, privacy, intellectual property and contempt.
Online scams come in all shapes and sizes. They aren't always obvious, but the objective is always the same: to con you out of money. Identity theft and phishing scams in particular are on the increase. A phishing scam involves a criminal sending you an email pretending to come from a genuine company to trick you into disclosing personal information. There are several places to go to learn more about scams and phishing, including: Consumer Direct; Get Safe Online; Bank Safe Online; and Card Watch.
The technology available today enables a person to use peer-to-peer websites to copy and distribute music, films, games, software and other copyright material quickly and at virtually no cost. There are, however, risks in doing this. Copyright holders (or organisations representing them) can track you down and seek compensation for copyright infringement. They can also force ISPs to stop providing internet service if you repeatedly violate copyright laws.
Buying online can be fast and convenient, and can enable the tenacious shopper to find some excellent bargains. Unfortunately, though, the internet also provides plenty of opportunity to scammers, hackers and thieves.
The UK has a tradition of civil rights and civil liberties dating back at least to the Magna Carta in the 13th century. Whilst successive governments have repealed most of the Magna Carta over the past 200 years or so, its guarantee of due process of law remains in effect.
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