How to stay safe when shopping online

More and more of us are getting into online shopping – with good reason. No more having to worry about going out to get things, and no more hassle trying to carry them home. They arrive safe and secure at your house without you having to do more than press a couple of buttons.

However, for those of us that are not internet savvy – online shopping can present very real and present dangers. We need to ensure that we are shopping online in a safe way, protecting our personal details and data.

Look at the URL

So we’ve got our top tips for staying safe when shopping online, so you can take the stress out of that next purchase.

This is a simple, but usually overlooked step. Check out the URL or web address of the site. Make sure it starts with https, and ensure that it has the green bar with a padlock next to it in the browser bar.

Wi-Fi Security

Never make transactions on a public wifi channel – your details are going to be at a higher risk than if you do it at home. Make sure you’re connected to your own wifi network to ensure your data isn’t being stolen.

Avoid emails from unknown sources

If you get emails from an unknown source, avoid opening it. Links and files are often the sources of viruses, or may in some cases take you to fake sites that collect your personal details.

Use mobile banking

Modern technology is a wonderful thing, here to make our lives easier. Now, you don’t even have to trek all the way to the bank to get your personal statement. Use online banking apps to check your statements regularly and try and look out for any suspicious.

Log Out

Make sure that you log out after each transaction, instead of just closing down your browser. You may find that you’re still logged in when you reopen it, and anyone can order things in your name.

Look out for fraud

Make sure that you report anything you might consider suspicious to your bank. You can never be too careful and the earlier you spot it, the more they are likely to be able to do to help.

Know your rights

Even though you’re shopping online, you’re still shopping and have the same rights. Make sure you visit sites like Which? And Money Saving Expert to ensure that you’re not getting ripped off.

Be cautious

Make sure whenever you buy something, you purchase from a trusted site. Try and stick to sites you know personally or people you trust have used.

Use secure payment sites

Using secure payment sites – such as PayPal – allows you to know who you’re paying money to, and if anything goes wrong, these sites will be able to help.

Keep browser software up-to-date

Make sure you constantly update your browser software. The newer versions often have the capability to identify fraudulent websites.

Heed warnings

If a pop-up message appears that warns about a site’s security certificate, be warned.