Online shopping is on the rise. Whether it’s groceries, clothing, toys or electronics, many of us have indulged in the joys of online shopping. Regardless of whether you are a regular online shopper or not, here are some tips before you make that purchase:

Make sure the retailer is legitimate

Do your research. Make sure the online shop you are visiting is the real and legitimate. 

  • If you have never purchased there before do a quick search to see what types of reviews it gets online. 

  • If it’s an established retailer, always check the web address to make sure it’s the right one. This is particularly important if you are following a link sent to you via email, text or instant message. 

  • When sharing sensitive information on any website, including payment information, avoid http:// sites and stick to https://. 

Making secure payments 

Typically, retailers will offer the possibility to pay by either credit or debit card. In some cases, you may have many other options including, bank transfer, PayPal, ApplePay, GooglePay, AmazonPay to name a few. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the different payment types available and the protections they offer. When paying by card, retailers that offer payment authentication services (e.g. Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure) add an additional layer of security. 

Use your cyber instincts

Just because it’s online doesn’t mean you should ignore your instincts or some basic cyber tips: 

  • Think before you click or reply: If you receive an email from a retailer with an offer that’s too good to resist and you weren’t expecting, check for signs of phishing. 

  • Keep your passwords safe: If you need to sign up to the retailers’ website, don’t reuse a password (especially not your online banking ones!). 

  • Be discrete online or in public: If you are uncomfortable sharing information that is not necessary for the purchase, don’t.  

  • Protect your information and equipment: If you are on a public Wi-Fi, wait until you’re home to make that purchase. 

  • If you suspect it, report it: If something goes wrong, notify your payment provider or bank immediately. 

Buying online should be fun, not troublesome. Be aware, be cyber safe. 

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