Christmas Shopping Security Tips

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Christmas

Christmas is coming! Christmas present purchasing is in full swing and with 61% of UK shoppers doing all or more than half of their Christmas shopping online last year; it’s time to get educated about the safest ways to shop online.


A survey from Econsultancy.com shows that the vast majority (61%) of UK shoppers in 2013 did all or more than half of their Christmas shopping online. With only 7% sticking exclusively to traditional brick-and-mortar buying.

It’s not a figure that we are surprised by at all and I’d expect it to be much higher this year. It has however inspired us to put together our top tips for online shopping!

Top Tips


These tips are purely from a security standpoint: although mitigating the cost of Christmas throughout the year is also a great idea.

  1. Research. If you want to buy something from a less well known website then spend 5 minutes googling them. If they aren’t legitimate then you will quickly find out.
  2. Third party sellers. Websites like Amazon and eBay allow third-party users to set up “shops”. If you intend to buy from one then check their rating and what users are saying about them.
  3. Secure Payments. Be sure to look for the padlock and https:// in the address bar: these are indicators of a secure webpage. Meaning that your details will be transmitted securely. Like this:
  4. Payment detail storage. Some websites will ask if you want to store your payment details, others will require you to consciously opt out of having them stored. Whilst it is very convenient to have your payment information stored if you frequently use a website, it does potentially place your details in danger.
  5. Payment method. Often your bank will recommend that you use a credit card to perform online purchases. This is because you are protected by the Consumer Credit Directive. You could also use PayPal or WorldPay. All of which provide an extra layer of protection between the world and your actual bank details.


P.S. More Tips


These are the big five that you need to bear in mind whilst you are exploring the wonderful world of online shopping.

As a kind of postscript, both to the blog and to your theoretical purchasing, be sure to keep an eye on your bank statements. Be on the lookout for small “under the radar” payments or possible overpayments that could indicate that your card has been compromised.

If you do notice anything then be sure to report it ASAP to your bank.

Make sure that an online payment fiasco doesn’t ruin your Christmas!

Santa Photograph: Getty