Christmas is on its way. If trudging around shops in freezing weather does not appeal to you, you might start looking into doing your Christmas shopping online.
But along with the convenience comes the slight risks, most of which and be avoided by following the easy tips below.
1. Firstly make sure your computer is virus free
You can ensure you are virus free by making sure your virus protection is updated and running correctly (this includes Apple Macs).
The obvious sign that you may have picked up some malware or a virus is your search engine having changed and getting pop-ups.
It’s also a good idea to run an antivirus scan on a regular basis.
If you do suspect you have a virus please don’t hesitate to call us for a professional, thorough virus removal service.
2. Make sure you are using legitimate websites
The likelihood of you buying something from a dodgy website is relatively low. But it’s safer to stick with what you know. Big names like Amazon or eBay, as well as other well-known shops and supermarkets, guarantee safe shopping.
But there also millions of smaller independent online retailers that may have more interesting gifts and call us for support to small business.
If in doubt, look for an https signed certificate (with a padlock symbol) in the URL bar of the checkout screen. Smaller stores use Sage Pay, Pay Pal, Amazon Payments, Worldpay or have their own checkout. Use the Pay Pal option if you don’t want to give your card details to smaller stores.
3. Use a secure web browser
We would suggest Google’s Chrome browser. It has a number of built-in security features and it updates itself regularly.
4. Safe payments
Most websites will ask you to pay with a credit or debit card. You are safer using a credit card and this is why:
Credit cards fall under the Consumer Credit Directive, meaning that your card provider is jointly liable with the actual supplier for any purchases you make.
That means that if you buy something that turns out to be substandard or broken, you have an additional avenue to claim your money back.
So, if you can’t chase the supplier for some reason – for example, if it has gone out of business – your card provider will reimburse you.
As long as your purchase costs between £100 – £60,260 then it will be covered. (Source Moneysupermarket.com)
But if you still have concerns then the safest way to buy online is with a prepaid credit card. You top it up with what you want to spend. In case of worst happening and your details being stolen, the thief would have access only to what you topped up the card with (or to nothing, if you’ve already spent the money). Most prepaid cards also come with the same protection as normal credit cards.
5. Delivery times
My last tip is to make sure you order with enough time for your Christmas shopping to be delivered. There’s nothing worse than ordering that new pair of triathlon socks your dad wanted, only to have them not be delivered on time. Christmas Ruined!