Safer online shopping

Thanks to online shopping, it’s easy to buy almost anything from any shop or seller in the world; here’s how to stay safe while you do it

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Tip: 1 of 8 Know who you’re buying from

Research into retailers you’ve never heard of:

  • Check they have contact details and a physical address
  • What are other people saying about them online?

Tip: 2 of 8 Check the small print

Read the seller’s privacy and cookies policy.

Tip: 3 of 8 Never pay using unsecured Wi-Fi connections

An unsecured Wi-Fi connection is one that you don’t need a password to use. These can be used by hackers to steal information from you once you’ve connected to the Wi-Fi network. But be careful: some hackers set up their unsecured networks to look genuine, for example like the Wi-Fi network of your hotel. Even though you have a password, you may be joining a fake network. Hackers can then access the information on your device. The best way to avoid this is to double check the name of the network you’re joining to ensure it’s genuine.

Tip: 4 of 8 Use secure websites

Before you pay (whether that’s on the retailer’s site or a third-party site), check the site is secure by:

  • Looking for the locked padlock symbol in the address bar
  • Making sure the address begins with "https://" - the ‘s’ stands for secure and means that the information you send will be encrypted - making it impossible for anyone else to use

Tip: 5 of 8 Check the details

Before you confirm payment, double check the details of your payment: the cost, how many you’re buying, the delivery address and date.

Tip: 6 of 8 Pay by credit card

Credit cards usually provide much better consumer protection against things like fraud and non-delivery than debit cards, so use them wherever you can.

Tip: 7 of 8 Log out when you’ve finished

Just closing the window isn’t enough; if you’ve logged in, you must log out. And never use the ‘remember me’ option on a shared computer or device that’s not yours.

Tip: 8 of 8 Keep an eye on your card statements

Always keep your receipts and check them against your credit card statements to ensure the right payment has been taken.

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