Online safe shopping at Christmas

Rather than going out into the cold and queuing for items we really want, we British now prefer to shop online.  This is evident when reviewing the Internet shopping percentages annual increase.  However, with the increased prevalence of online shopping, unfortunately comes the increased prevalence of fraud.  There are, however some simple tips that will help you enjoy a safe Internet shopping season.

For one, never purchase directly through a search engine.  Use search engines to find sites that you want to purchase from and then go directly to that site to handle your transactions.

When making Internet purchases, always look for sites that have a padlock symbol to designate that you are making your purchases and giving your buying information on secured pages.  When you look for the padlock, also be sure to look for terms and conditions.  Read the terms and the conditions to be sure that you are not surrendering any consumer rights.

If you are not 100 per cent familiar with the firm from whom you are purchasing, check out their reputation online.  You can do this by entering the company’s name in your favourite search engine and looking for any forums where there might be complaints or compliments posted.  Use these to help you form an opinion of whether you feel the firm is trustworthy or not.

Make sure to physically protect your computer by having a good firewall and running anti-virus protection.  Never surf the Internet with an unprotected computer.  It’s more dangerous than having unprotected sex.