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10 Ways to make your online Christmas shopping more secure
These days, Christmas shopping presents us with two very different options: don coat, hat and scarf to brave the crowds in shops rammed full of angry customers, or sit in the warmth of your bed and get it all done online. We know which one we’d rather, but the truth is that online shopping still carries with it a few risks – both to your computer and to your wallet.
If you want to get your Christmas gift buying done with the help of the wireless ether, heed to the following tips:
1. Just browsing
Use an alternative browser to Internet Explorer. Malware (malicious software) is normally designed to work with Internet Explorer, so using another browser will help avoid it.
2. Trust in me
Only use online stores that you know and trust. There are numerous scamming websites out there.
3. Google it
Google shopping will help you search for the product you want at the cheapest price. All sellers have been confirmed by Google as legit companies. You can be assured you are buying from someone trusted.
4. A strong defence…
Install a decent anti-virus such as Trend Micro which features online shopping security software and can detect when you’re accessing an insecure website.
5. Locked up
Only visit secure sites; check that the web address in the browser starts with “https” (Http Secure) and a small closed padlock icon is displayed in the status bar of the browser whilst at the checkout
6. Too good to be true?
Trust your instincts – be cautious of bargains on the Internet just as you would be in real life. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. If something looks like a fraud, don’t buy it – it’s better to miss out on a ‘bargain’ than to lose your money.
7. Threatening behaviour
Keep your computer free from threats before you carry out an online payment. Make sure your computer is not infected with viruses, Trojans, etc., that could steal your credit card details or passwords. Make sure you have anti virus software installed that can detect all types of threats, and always keep it up to date.
8. Ask a friend
Pay for your items using Paypal. Paypal ensures that any products paid for and not received will be refunded.
9. Spam: not tasty
Never buy anything advertised in a spam message. Junk mail offers that seem too good to be true are usually exactly that. They are scams designed to steal your personal details, infect your computer with nasty stuff like spyware, and to part you from your money.
10. Masterful security
Make sure you have set up a Master Secure code with your bank. Whenever making payments online and using your bank card it should ask you for an additional password. This will help keep your money safe, even if your card details have been captured. Also be warned that spending large amounts out of the blue might cause your bank to block your card for ‘suspicious activity’. The bad news is that they can do this without warning.
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