Shop online safely this holiday season with our top tips
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Winter nights are drawing in and sales are all around…unfortunately, so are fraudsters.
To make sure you don’t get caught out this holiday season. Check out these eight simple tips on how to shop online safely, before you checkout.
Choose where you shop: If making a purchase from a business or person you don’t know, carry out a bit of research first. Read online reviews about a company and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the transaction.
Payment method: Where possible, avoid paying for purchases by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Bank transfer payments do not offer you protection if you become a victim of fraud. Where possible use a credit card, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
Securing your account: Use a strong, separate password and two-factor authentication (2FA) for your email account. Criminals can use your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.
Take care with links in emails or texts: Some of the emails or texts you receive about offers may contain links to fake websites, designed to steal your money and personal details. Instead of using the received links, type the shop's website address manually into your browser, or find the website through a search engine (e.g. Google or Bing).
Keep up-to-date: Make sure you have installed the latest software and app updates. Criminals use weakness in software to attack your devices and steal information, such as your payment details. Turn on automatic updates, so your device will update itself in the future.
Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA): To give any online account additional protection, where possible, you should turn on two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a way for the service you're using to double check that you really are the person you claim to be, when logging in.
Use a password manager: We’re often tempted to re-use passwords and usernames for ease of remembering, a good way to get around this is to use a password manager to have different password on every account. Save the passwords in your browser, or use a secure third-party password manager application (research highly reviewed providers). These systems remember all your login details for you and create strong, complex passwords for each of your online accounts. The only password you’ll need to remember is the master password for the manager itself and add 2FA to the account.
Don't give away too much information: You shouldn't need to give out your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your primary school, in order to buy something. There are some obvious details that an online store will need, such as your address and your bank details, but be cautious if they ask for details that are not required for your purchase.
When things go wrong: We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing. If you think you, or someone you know has been a victim of online fraud:
In the first instance, contact your bank to report that fraud has taken place and follow their advice.