Stay safe when shopping online

Stay safe when shopping online

Today there are countless online shopping opportunities – most of which are legitimate. But with online fraud making up around half of all crime in the UK, it’s important to follow some simple rules to give yourself the best chance of having a secure online shopping experience.

James Martin Content Writer
minute read

For each online shopping website you use, you should pick a different password. Other things to keep in mind include:

  • Not saving your payment information on the retailer’s website. If the site is breached by fraudsters, they could access your details.
  • Stick with verified websites and apps from retailers you trust, especially if you’re shopping on your mobile.
  • Use shopping websites with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. Look at the site’s URL – it should start with “https://” and will typically have a lock icon displayed somewhere in the browser. 

Email fraud and social media

You should always be aware of phishing emails. This is when a direct mail is sent to you by fraudsters who are trying to access your personal information. Often, these emails look similar to those sent by reputable businesses. Never reply to any email asking for your password or PIN. And don't open any attachments unless you’re completely sure they’ve come from a trustworthy source.  

When it comes to social media, be very careful not to overshare your personal data such as your birthday or home address. Before you post something on social media, pause, and think carefully about whether the information is better left as private.

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Using credit checks to help spot identity theft  

Reviewing your credit report regularly – at least once a year or more – can help you see if someone has stolen your identity. You should be able to see any products listed that you might not have applied for. And you might spot unusual activity if, say, your credit score dips unexpectedly. To access your credit report, visit Experian, Equifax or TransUnion (formerly Callcredit).

You could be protected by using a credit card online

If you pay for goods or services with a credit card – for something that costs between £100 and £30,000 – your purchase could be covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Under this act, your credit card provider has equal responsibility with a seller if anything goes wrong after you’ve bought something.  

Your card provider typically has to refund you if:

  • Your items don’t get to you
  • You buy something faulty or damaged and a refund or replacement isn’t available
  • A firm goes into administration before providing what you’ve paid for.

Remember to read the terms of your credit card provider prior to making a purchase if you’re in any doubt about what might or might not be covered.

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