How to Shop Online Safely
With more and more of us shopping online staying secure is increasingly important. There are so many amazing products to buy from small businesses and independent sellers but you want to know that you are entering your personal details into a secure website and can shop online safely.
Top tips to shop online safely this season
People prefer online shopping because of the wider selection of products they can purchase, huge deals and promos, and better prices. Payment transactions are simple and easy. There’s discount coupons and free shipping fees.
But online shopping and transactions don’t always go smoothly. There are problems customers face including product quality issues, logistics, lack of payment options, poor customer service, scams, identity theft, data breaches and more. Check out these online shopping safety tips to avoid being a victim of a bad online shopping experience, and to safeguard your personal and financial information:
Top Tips for shopping online securely
Follow these basic security tips and have stress free online shopping. These savvy online shopping tips help you stay safe while shopping online. Don’t leave yourself at risk. Be smart, know your seller, and know exactly what you’re buying.
Make sure the website is secure.
The first thing to do to shop online safely is to look for an SSL certificate. This is when you have a padlock icon in the URL and it reads HTTPS://www.website.co.uk
This means that the website owner has an up to date security certificate on their website and allows secure connections from a web server to your browser. This keeps you protected and allows for secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins.
Do some research
Take time to research the retailer. Know who you are buying from. If it’s your first time to shop on an online store or from a specific seller on a platform, read reviews. If you are looking for a particular product see who else makes it and compare reviews and prices. Be smart. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
For independent sellers on a website, you can check out their online reviews on a site like TrustPilot.
Check out the company returns policy.
If you are shopping for clothes or something that might not be the right size. Have a quick look at the returns policy - just in case you need to send it back. This is also in case the item isn't delivered or arrives damaged or broken.
Password protect your accounts
Remember to use a strong password and try not to use the same one for multiple accounts. Password-protect your online accounts Create different passwords on different online sites: never reuse passwords across sites. And choose a strong password. Two-factor authentication will surely make your accounts more secure. It adds another layer of protection and security so you’ll have a better online shopping experience.
On your computer
Always make sure to keep your software and virus protection up-to-date on your laptop or device. Protect your device, always update your software. It’s the easiest thing you can do to protect your device from malware attacks and viruses. New updates have protective benefits. Make sure you always install security updates and patches promptly. Use security add-ons and extensions to protect browsing. You should also use VPN, to hide your actual IP address.
Never save passwords and credit card details in your browser
It makes life so much easier when you don't have to keep filling out all the forms when shopping online. That being said, should your device get lost or stolen, whoever finds it will have access to your accounts.
In addition to physically losing your device, if you find that you have been hacked, all your online accounts will be accessible if you have stored your passwords in your browser.
Use a trustworthy internet connection
Using public WIfi can be risky. Always use a secure internet connection to protect you. You can browse when you are using public Wifi but when you are actually buying something - make sure you are on your own secure connection.
Paypal is a hugely popular payment platform and can help to shop online safely. It is a great layer of protection for you when you are buying items online. If there are any issues they can usually be sorted out very quickly and your bank account details will remain protected.
Cybersecurity is evolving all the time. Always follow the advice and be vigilant. Try, where possible, to use well known and trusted websites and don't forget to look for the padlock in the URL!
If you think your card has been used fraudulently tell your bank immediately so they can stop any further use of it.
If you think you’ve been target of a scam, phishing or any unwanted cyber attack contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. There is loads of advice on their website, it's definitely worth a read. They also have an online reporting tool
There is lots of advice and information out there for UK consumers. The "Which?" Guide explains in detail What's covered by the legislation - Consumer Credit Act
Ecommerce business owners are being encouraged to have up to date SSL Certificates on their website. Even browsers are getting in on the act with Mozilla Firefox launching an HTTPS only mode
Businesses who have been hacked or have had a security breach of any kind must report it to the Information Commissioner's office (ICO) within 72 hours under current GDPR laws.
Do you have an eCommerce website?
If you need to secure your website talk to us about your website security or Buy your SLL Certificate here.
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