Shopping Online

Stay safe shopping online

You look after your cards and financial details in the real world, the same good practice should also apply in the virtual world.

Before you buy anything online make a note of the address of the company that you are buying from. This should include details of the telephone and/or fax - never rely on just an email address.

Secure your Computer

  • Enable updates for your operating system (e.g Microsoft Windows) and Internet Browser (e.g Internet Explorer, Mozillia Firefox)

  • Install and keep up to date Anti-virus software and anti-spyware software. There are very good products that can be obtained free.

Shop on Secure Websites

  • Shop on secure websites only.  These will have the padlock or unbroken key symbol in your browser window, and the address of the website will begin "https" instead of "http" when you go to input your payment details.

  • Use sites that you know you can trust - well known retailers or sites that have been recommended to you by a trusted friend or relative.

  • Check the sellers' privacy policy and returns policy.

  • Be especially cautious when buying from overseas companies.

  • On online auction sites, learn how it works and pick sellers with good feedback

Paying Securely

  • Sign up to Verified by Visa or Mastercard Secure Code.  You may be offered the chance to join these schemes while you are shopping online, or your card issuer may encourage you to sign up.  These schemes are simple to use and offer an additional layer of security when shopping online. 

  • Print out a copy of your order and any acknowledgement you receive and check your bank statements for amounts taken out.

Related Links

GetSafeOnline.org - How to identify unsafe or criminal websites