Online shopping – tips to keep you safe

Online shopping – tips to keep you safe

Online shopping sites could leave your computer vulnerable to viruses or even expose you to credit card fraud. Use this checklist to keep on top of security basics and to help keep your payments and computer as safe as possible.

Check your computer security

1. If you have a wifi connection at home, set a password on it if there isn’t one already.

2. Keep firewall, antivirus and other security programmes up to date on your computer.

3. Keep your browser up to date. When you can or are asked to, update your browser (eg Internet Explorer or Firefox) so you are using the most recent systems, which will be armed with the latest secure processes.

4. Don’t share passwords, and include a combination of numbers, letters and upper case letters when creating a password. Change passwords regularly, especially for services you use a lot, like your email.

Finding what you want online 

1. Avoid using shared computers or devices that use shared networks when you are doing any secure transactions with your bank or with online stores.

2. Type in web addresses yourself or visit via a search engine like Google rather than going through to online stores via email or pop-up ad links. This way you know you’re going to the right, authentic website.


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3. Look for secure encryption symbols. When you open a shopping site, check that the url includes an ‘s’ after http, and that a closed padlock sign appears either in the address bar or in the bottom corner of the window.

4. Pay with a card that has its own secure payment systems – most regular bank and credit cards now offer additional password layers when you use them.

5. Use your common sense and consider if a bargain really is too good to be true. If someone tries to sell you something by contacting you (by email or phone), check it out independently and go to the source without using their links, to ensure you’re not being led to a phony site.

Savvy tip – internet shopping delivery

Consider what the delivery options are – make sure the company you’re buying from uses reliable companies for home delivery or that they offer collection points that are secure and convenient for you.

Pass it on – save money and time with reliable websites

Check out our advice on Savvy online gift shopping.

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