Shopping online can offer convenience, allowing you to purchase a whole range of goods at any time, as well as compare different websites to find the best price. However, the rise of e-commerce has also coincided with more scams, resulting in thousands of shoppers losing out to fraudsters – scammers cost 15,000 Brits £11 million last Christmas.
To avoid being caught out, here are five methods you can use to protect yourself when shopping online.
#1. Shop on a Secure Connection
While you may have spotted an item you would like to buy while out and about, avoid purchasing when connected to a public wi-fi network. This is because a public network is unsecured, meaning it can be accessed by anyone in the immediate area. As a result, they can be easy targets for hackers, who could access the card details you input when completing checkout.
#2. Avoid Using Duplicate Passwords
Many online retailers require shoppers to create an account before they can place an order – although there is often a guest option. If you do decide to sign up for an account, make sure to use a new and unique password. This is important as should a hacker manage to gain access through this password, they will not be able to use it on any of your other accounts.
#3. Consider a Secure Payment Method
When shopping online, there are often a variety of ways to pay. However, the safest options are usually a credit card or an online payment system like PayPal. This is because credit cards provide additional protection when spending over £100, while services like PayPal hold your payment information, so there is no need to enter your card details.
#4. Check Website Security
There are numerous ways you can validate a website’s security and authenticity before placing an order. To keep your details safe, carry out a couple of simple checks by looking for the keypad symbol (this indicates the site is secure and encrypted), as well as checking online reviews and ratings to find out about the experience of other customers.
#5. Inspect Your Statements
Although you can take precautions to stay safe online, it is also advisable to check your bank statements on a regular basis. This will ensure that there have been no fraudulent transactions or charges on your account and allow you to take action should you spot anything unusual.
Follow these tips when shopping online to prevent your details from being shared and help you manage your finances.