Online shopping safety tips for 2017

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James Pavett

It’s that time of year again! Some Black Friday deals are still rumbling on and Christmas shopping is in full swing. Here are some simple ways you can stay safe and still bag those deals.

  1. If you’re entering financial information make sure the website is using a secure connection, your web page address will start “HTTPS” and should have a padlock showing it’s secure. This doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe and can be faked, but it’s a good start.
  2. Always ensure your operating system, applications and internet security software is up to date. It may flag up a dodgy website, stop you from visiting a phishing site, or malware infested bargain page.
  3. Phishing emails are getting better and better at spoofing real emails and making them look genuine. Be ultra-careful of email with links to low priced bargains, even those from websites or retailers you use often.
  4. If you’re using a mobile device like a laptop, phone or tablet be wary about trying to grab that deal over public Wi-Fi. Use a VPN if possible.
  5. Using a credit card when making payments over a £100 gives you extra protection as part of the Consumer Credit Act. This means you should be able to get a refund for anything that isn’t delivered or isn’t as described.
  6. Have a look at reviews for sites and services you don’t recognise or haven’t used before. Websites like Trustpilot and Feefo offer impartial reviews for websites.
  7. Using separate email addresses for online shopping and unique passwords will help to keep your identity safe in case they are compromised or hacked and your personal information becomes public.
  8. Always keep a close eye on your bank statements especially this time of year. Be on the lookout for small transactions which you don’t recognise and inform your bank immediately.

How far through your Christmas shopping are you? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

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