We always like to share with you any hints & tips about shopping online, so here are our top ten tips.
1. Check that the site is a safe place to shop – many UK and Europe–based sites will have the Internet Shopping Is Safe logo (ISIS) indicating that it has been vetted regarding reliability, data protection and security.
2. Some viruses corrupt your computer so that even if you type in a legitimate website, you may be redirected to a fake site. This is called “pharming” so check that the browser address is the same one you typed in. Simple and quick to do.
3. Don’t pick easy passwords when prompted – and don’t use the same password for all your shopping accounts as you do for your email account. Try to use numbers instead of letters, or something obscure like your first car’s registration number.
4. When you reach the payment page, look for the padlock symbol to ensure that your payment will be secure.
5. Some shoppers prefer to use a pre-paid payment card – ensuring that only the amount that has been pre-paid can be spent. There is no credit or overdraft facility and the card has none of your personal details.
6. Do use the extra pin/password options from MasterCard and Visa. Once you have setup your card, it can only be used with this extra security information.
7. If in the UK using a credit card online rather than a debit card as under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, the card company is jointly responsible along with the shop if something you buy is faulty, is not as described or fails to be delivered.
8. Use the card reader or similar device offered by your bank so that each time you need to access your account you have to use a newly generated code. Barclays Bank has reported a 90% decrease in online fraud since introducing their system.
9. Protect your computer from hackers, viruses and malicious software before you start shopping or banking online. There are many tools available for free online and always set your security level as high as you can.
10. Open a PayPal account and use it wherever you can: look for the logo at the checkout stage of your shopping trip online. PayPal says it never shares your details!
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