November 27th 2015
Everywhere you look today (in fact for the last few days), you’ll be seeing retailers and other companies advertising Black Friday – supposedly the opportunity to snap up Christmas presents at bargain basement prices. Black Friday has become the busiest shopping day of the year … Experian and IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) forecast online purchases will hit £1.07 billion, the first time they have passed £1 billion in a single day.
On Black Friday in the UK last year, Amazon sold more than 5.5 million items – at a rate of 64 items per second. eBay is expecting 9 million people to log on, with 25 items selling every second.
But today – and Cyber Monday next week – are also one of the favourite times of the year for cybercriminals. They are well aware of the manic burst of pre-Christmas spending that takes place, and also the fact that many people drop their guard, so focused are they on getting ready for the festive season and saving some money.
Therefore, we’ve put together 12 top tips for you to follow while doing your shopping:
Top tips for safe online shopping
1. Use only reputable shopping sites which you know, or come recommended.
2. Remember that paying by credit card offers greater protection than with other methods.
3. Double check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.
4. Do not act on or reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise, don’t click on links or open attachments in such emails.
5. Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the page is secure by checking that there is a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, the web address begins with ‘https://’ and the address bar or the name of the site owner turns green.
6. Do not make payment for goods when using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, including those in public places like cafes, bars and hotel rooms.
7. Choose strong passwords and keep them to yourself.
8. Don’t pay a company or individual not personally known to you by bank transfer, as if it’s a fraud, the bank will not refund your money.
9. Always log out of shopping websites when you have completed your payment.
10. Keep receipts, and check credit card and bank statements
11. Always have effective and updated internet security software loaded and switched on.
12. Make sure new phones, tablets and other connected devices that you buy for yourself or as gifts, are protected by PIN, internet security software and if for children, parental controls.
If you do become a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk