The internet provides a quick and easy way to shop, especially in the lead up to Christmas. It’s a simple case of choosing your products online, then entering your credit or debit card details to complete your purchase. But are these details safe when used online?
Worryingly, cyber attacks rose significantly in the first half of 2016. This is in some ways inevitable and the prevalence of online shopping continues to grow. More online sales means more opportunities for people to steal details. There have recently been some very high profile instances of data theft, often within large organisations.
There are some simple steps you can take to help prevent your details being stolen online:
- Use different passwords. Weak password make it easy for criminals to access your account, especially if you also have weak security questions set up.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up-to-date. This will prevent malware getting onto your computer that could compromise your security.
- Change your passwords on a regular basis. Do not store them within websites, especially if you share a computer.
- Pay online or use a well-known money transfer service.Do not send money directly to someone’s account, unless you know them personally.
- If you pay online, use a credit card as this will give you the highest level of protection.
- Use secure, reputable websites when making payments. If something doesn’t look quite right, stop immediately.
- Look out for the lock symbol in the browser window frame.
- Use an https:// website when making payments.
Following these pointers will help you to stay safe and secure online. If you are vigilant at all times, you are far less likely to encounter fraud. If you notice anything suspicious on your account, contact your bank immediately. Keep receipts and records of your transactions just in case you do experience any security difficulties online.