Home and living

Stay safe whilst shopping online


Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly becoming the most popular online shopping days of the year, as well as marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. To help you stay safe whilst picking your purchases, here are our top five tips for shopping online.

1. Choose passwords that are hard to decipher

First things first - never share your passwords with anyone. Passwords should be complex and difficult to decipher, using a combination of numbers, letters, and alphanumeric symbols. If you’re using a laptop or mobile device, it’s a good idea to make sure that this is encrypted as well.

2. Only use trusted devices

Make sure you only access sensitive data on a device you trust. Don’t shop on public devices (such as in an internet café), or on other public networks. If you have your own wireless network, encrypt it to ensure that others can’t access your personal information.

3. Get anti-virus software

As well as protecting your devices using anti-virus software, you should also be aware of potential email scams, and how to avoid them. For example, if you receive an email from your bank asking you to input personal information, call them on a telephone number detailed on your latest bank statement. This will give you confidence that the information you’re being asked for is legitimate. Never input any personal data, or click on any web links, unless you’ve first verified the source.

4. Use retailers that are familiar to you

Ask your friends and relatives for recommendations, as well as reading online reviews to help understand if the retailer is legitimate. Have a browse of their website as well – it’ll soon become apparent if it’s a scam!

5. Check your bank statements regularly

Make sure to check your bank statements each month for any payments that you don’t recognise. If you spot a purchase that you haven’t made, give your bank a call to let them know and to find out if you’re eligible for compensation. Make sure to destroy any bank statements once you’ve reviewed them to ensure no-one can access your bank details.

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