Online shopping safety tips
These are some really simple ways to shop safely online you can use every day:
- Research retailers online to make sure they’re legitimate.
- Make sure the website is secure.
- Know your rights and the company’s returns policy.
- Keep software and virus protection up-to-date and use strong passwords for online accounts.
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi. Your standard data connection is more secure.
- Pay using a credit card. You will have more protection. Alternatively, online services like PayPal mean scammers will not be able to get hold of your bank details.
- Be smart. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
You can find out more about these tips in the rest of our guide.
- When making purchases or selling on Internet trading portals, always read the buying and selling instructions carefully.
- Make sure you understand the policies of the website you are dealing through– particularly regarding what it will and won’t do if something goes wrong or a fraudulent transaction occurs. You should be able to find this information easily in its terms and conditions.
- If you can, do your homework on the buyer or seller.When transacting through an online trading post like Gumtree, make sure that you have the other person’s proof of identification, proof of residence, and correct and confirmed contact details.
- When carrying out the transaction, ensure that the transaction is witnessed by at least one person, and that a receipt is issued.
- If the seller is a business, check its real-world presence.If they provide a phone number, call them up and verify their details. But remember that overseas sellers may be harder to chase in the event of a problem.
- Check online stores’ privacy and returns policiesto be sure your information will not be shared and that you are not stuck with merchandise you didn’t order.
- Be clear about shipping and delivery costs(for example, whether or not they are included and if not, if they are clearly stated).
- Be clear about methods of paymentand whether any of these attract any extra costs.
- Always provide the absolute minimum necessary personal informationto sellers and buyers – and nothing more.
- Bear in mind that paying by credit card offers greater protection against fraudthan other payment methods – since banks often have measures in place to deal with credit card fraud.
- Always double check all details of your purchasebefore confirming payment.