When it comes to shopping online this festive season some people might feel a little alarmed at the prospect. Will it be safe? How do I know if I  put in my financial details that they will be protected?

These are all valid concerns but they should not put you off shopping online. It can be convenient, there are bargains to be had and with good delivery services you should get your items well in time for Christmas.

However, because there has been such an increase in malicious activity online it is wise to follow some practical tips and advice on how to secure your online shopping.

Trust the familiar

Firstly, use a website that you already know or one that has been recommended to you by your friends or family.  If you know the site you have a greater chance of security. It is a good idea to enter the site name into the search bar and not use a search engine as some search results could lead you on to sites that are designed to get you to give them your information.

Make sure it has a padlock

When it comes to https padlocks there are two things to remember, a site will have SSL encryption if it starts with HTTPS://. This S is very important. There will also be a padlock symbol in your browser,  however, remember that a site may not have HTTPS padlock if they are re-directing you to Paypal to pay so you will have to remember that details you enter on the original site will not be encrypted.

Be aware of what is required of you

It is important to note that it is not required online for you to provide personal details such as your PPS number or your date of birth or mother’s name.  If you are being asked these questions stop and investigate the authenticity of the site. These are common tactics used by hackers to steal your identity. Never ever send your credit or debit card details over email or in text or give them over the phone if you do not know the person.

Keep informed

Keep a regular eye on your online bank activity and report discrepancies at once to your bank.  You have 30 days in most cases to report problems but after that, you could be charged. Many banks will notify you if they see unusual activity on your account which can be hugely helpful.

Keep your anti- virus up to date

Keep yourself protected against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus programs and be sure they are working as they should be.

Use Strong Passwords

We understand that it is frustrating trying to remember and save complicated passwords but simple easy to hack passwords are a delight to attackers.  Make sure your password contains numbers, assorted characters and is case sensitive to deter fraud.  (Read more about this on our blog: How Safe is my Password.)

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is

This one is rather self-explanatory but be careful, if it sounds like a scam it usually is. Also, it is wise to be careful of emails from ‘friends’ asking for money. Never trust this type of email and ensure you have a phone conversation with the person,
WebArt wishes you a cyber safe Christmas and don’t forget it you need a website for your business we are a one stop shop for online solutions, so call us today.