Top 5 Tips For Safe Online Shopping

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Online shopping is the way the majority of us shop these days, fast deliveries, friendly experiences and easy returns have just made it easier and easier. Home to a considerable number of both national and international retailers with an established online market, the UK offers a broad range of sectors to shop from.

Whether it’s price-led shopping, premium designer outlets or mass middle-market retailers the variety is there.

But how do you know which websites you can trust when buying online? Staying safe while you’re shopping online is one of the most important parts of your shopping experience and savvy shoppers should know how to avoid fraud.

Here are 5 top tips to stay safe and secure:

1.

Look for the green lock and the https URL’s

When viewing a secure website, the site identity button on the left-hand side of the web address will be a green padlock. If the padlock symbol is missing the website should be treated with caution.

The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for secure. It means the communications between your browser and the website, such as your credit card details, are encrypted.

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2.

Use your mobile phone network over public Wi-Fi

If you are going to shop online do it from home or if you have to order something but you are not in the comfort of your house do it using your own data.

Using a free public Wi-Fi might seem to be a convenience at the time you are out and about but be aware that this freedom comes at price. The majority of Wi-Fi hotspots do not encrypt the information you send over the internet and for that reasons they are classified as being unsafe. Hacking public networks is simple even for users with limited technologicaly know-how.

Emails, phone numbers, credit card information’s are all there exposed and attackers are ready to take advantage of these security holes in Wi-Fi hotspots. And the list could go on.

When considering whether to connect to public Wi-Fi network – just simply don’t!. Invest in an unlimited data plan to limit the need for accessing insecure Wi-Fi networks and keep your sensitive information safe.

3.

Shop online using credit card over debit card

Credit cards are the smarter option for online shopping because they offer protection for purchases, making them a safer alternative to debit cards. If you purchase goods or holidays costing over £100 and up to £30,000 you are covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which means the credit card company has equal responsibility with the seller for faulty, unsatisfactory or undelivered items. Other advantages of using credit cards online in some cases may be: cashback on purchases, other loyalty points or airline miles.

Don’t forget to contact your card company straight away to block your card and stop any use of it if you think your card details have been used online by a criminal to commit fraud.

4.

Be aware of ‘too good to be true’ offers

Skepticism in cases of ‘too good to be true’ offers will go a long way to saving you from a stolen card number!

5.

Keep software and virus protection up-to-date

In order to have complete malware protection for your devices it’s extremely important to have the latest security software, web browser and operating systems. Once you have installed these make sure you set the software to automatically check for updates on a daily bases.

*The Expert recommends Curry PC World Software for software, laptops, tablets and desktops.