How to Shop Safely Online

Shopping online is quick, easy and practical. You can buy your party dress for the office party while on the train to work. You can shop for Christmas presents without needing to leave your sofa. Online shopping is accessible and far more convenient for the modern-day person.

As high streets closed in lockdown, many people started shopping online instead. Huge retailers, like Topshop, permanently closed their stores and gave way to online shopping giants. With the exponential rise in online shoppers, there is also a rise in cyber attackers. It’s important to protect yourself and your private details when shopping online.

Here are a few tips to help you shop safely online.

Check for a secure and private network connection

Look out for the padlock symbol next to the website address. The padlock means the website you are visiting is secured with a digital certificate. Another person cannot intercept any information sent between your computer and the website.

Use a prepaid card

A prepaid debit card only allows you to spend the money available on your card. You can’t go over your budget or fall into an overdraft. You don’t need to worry about overspending online when you have a prepaid debit card. If something goes wrong with a purchase online, contact your bank, and they will investigate the transaction.

Keep your device updated

When your computer notifies you of a software update, complete it as soon as possible. You need to keep your devices updated and in the best condition possible. You should also install antivirus software to protect your computer from any viruses. The software will scan, detect and delete the viruses from your computer.

Only give out the necessary information

Phishing scams aim to steal your personal information, such as your bank details, address, email and much more. They can use these details to hack into your private email, work account and bank. Phishing scams are often masked as something legitimate. For example, you may receive a call from someone claiming to be a bank. You should always double-check with your bank before handing over your details.

Research the store

You should always research the store you are shopping at. Search for customer reviews and check out their social media to make sure they are legitimate. A few bad reviews are normal for an online store – but you may notice some warning signs. For example, multiple customers have not received their orders despite paying for the product. Always do your research and watch out for the padlock symbol in the address bar.

Shopping online has numerous benefits – but it can be risky too. You need to practise proper online safety to protect your money and personal information.

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