National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week: Tips for shopping safely online

Recent figures show that the UK is at the top of the league table for online consumer spending per person, with sales forecast to grow by 16% this year. Perhaps not hugely surprising, as shopping online can save a significant amount of time and effort, in addition to offering a wider choice of goods than the high street.

256% of Brits have been targeted by online criminals and the average loss per incident is £247 per person. This goes to show that even the most seasoned of shoppers could benefit from staying up-to-date on precautions against the risks associated with purchasing goods or services online.

The National Cyber Security Programme dedicated £860m over the past five years to making the UK one of the safest online places. There are some simple steps you can follow to protect your details and avoid ID fraud. You can minimise risk by choosing reputable shopping sites and making sure that a site is secure before entering any of your details. It’s important to:

  • Always make sure you know who you are buying from, and how you pay for the goods or services you are purchasing
  • Never send your credit card details via email, post them on social media (even through private message), or enter them on a website that isn’t secured
  • Always log out of your account after every purchase
  • Keep your PC, Mac or mobile device up-to-date
  • Avoid using public computers or public Wi-Fi when shopping online
  • Make sure that retailers list a geographical address on their websites, as well as contact details like phone numbers, before buying

1It’s worth using a separate browser that you regularly keep updated for shopping and banking online, and another for everyday web use. Opening a new email account is also something to consider; it can be used specifically for online shopping purposes. Security aide, It will help to reduce the amount of spam you receive, as well as keeping track of which sites you’ve registered your email address for shopping purposes.

Sainsbury’s Bank has put together the following visual guide, which includes 15 steps for safe online shopping, as well as useful information on staying safe when using mobile devices and Wi-Fi. Also included are tips on what to do if you come across any illegal activity.

To find out more information about National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week click here.

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