Online shopping safety tips

Our Head of Technology, Dave Andrews shares his top tips for online shopping safety

Think twice, click once

As the seasonal deal offers start stacking up in your inbox, it’s easy to forget that not all emails bring festive cheer. Most hacks start by convincing you to open an attachment or visit a link to download something. It’s an easy way for bad folk to install malware on your machine.

Think twice, click once. If something is unexpected don’t trust it – delete it.

Shop more securely

Using a credit card to buy goods online is safer than using a debit card. This is because any fraudulent transaction made using your debit card sees money withdrawn from your bank account. Most credit cards come with fraud protection.

Make sure the shop site is secure

If you’re shopping online, you can protect yourself further by only shopping on sites with HTTPS as a URL prefix and a padlock icon to the left or the right of the URL. This ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. This signifies communications between your browser and the website concerned are encrypted.

Update your operating system 

Make sure your machine is running the latest version of your operating system and install system updates immediately. Updating your operating system ensures your machine has the latest software to protect itself.

Update your anti-virus software

An out-of-date virus checker is only marginally better than none at all. Hundreds of thousands of new variants of malicious software appear each year in addition to new strains, so the set of malware your virus checker knew about when you first installed it can get out of date very quickly.

Use complex passwords for each account

Using capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters, such as an Asterix or a question mark, make passwords much harder for hackers to crack.

Use a password manager

You probably have more accounts than you can remember, so consider using a reputable password manager. Then use two-factor authentication to protect your online accounts.

Watch out for Flash

Adobe Flash, a tool used to create online games and animations, is one of the most common ways PCs get infected with malware. Think about disabling it over Christmas. Adobe isn’t recommending the use of flash anymore because of security concerns. Check your system.

Avoid putting PII on social media

PII is personally identifiable information and hackers use this to help them crack passwords and work their way into your confidence for scams. Consider setting your social media profiles so that only friends can see what you put online.

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your care needs.

0808 239 1525


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