Safe shopping

Online shopping is fast and easy but the most important action is to take steps to protect yourself when you do it.

What can you do? Always follow the below:

  • Check out the reviews of the stores:
    • The United Kingdom (UK) has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe. This is a huge number of addresses and almost unlimited choice of goods, but not every supplier offers the same high standards. Before you shop or browse in a store that you do not know yet, it is worth reading the reviews and finding out what its existing customers think about a given brand. Ratings posted on the Internet can tell you a lot about the actual brands/products, as well as the quality of the products offered or products related to the customer.
  • Use familiar websites:
    • This is certainly a mistake that can have the most serious consequences. While large online stores have clear procedures and proven systems that allow for safe shopping, it is not difficult to find websites created by fraudsters. Of course, this does not mean that we should choose from the services of less popular online stores. Before committing to e-shopping it is worth at least basic verification: review the channels on social media, learn about the opinions of other customers, carefully read the regulations and content of the website.
  • Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn't have SSL (secure sockets layer),
    • Look for the following indicators in your browser’s address bar to be sure that a website you are visiting is protected with a trusted SSL/TLS certificate:


      A closed padlock icon to the left of the URL. Depending on your browser and the type of certificate the website has installed, the padlock maybe green and/or accompanied by identifying information about the company running it.
      If shown, the protocol at the beginning of the URL should be https://, not http://
      Note that not all browsers display the protocol.

      Some of the web browsers also warn visitors about unsecured websites that do not have an SSL / TLS certificate.
  • Avoiding public Wi-Fi
    • It is very risky to shop online by connecting to a public network. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be used for man-in-the-middle attacks that allow third parties to intercept sensitive data. Therefore, it is worth turning off the automatic search for available networks and not using the network without encryption. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to be safe,
  • No retailer needs your passwords or your birthday to do business. Don't provide any!,
  • Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month and regularly check the statements for your credit and debit card,
  • Create a strong password and change a password to protect privacy a few times a year,
    • All kinds of accounts that store sensitive data are of particular interest to hackers, which is why it is so important to use strong and unique passwords. It is also a good practice to change the passwords on all your accounts on a regular basis. It is also not recommended to save login data in browsers, and certainly not on devices to which many users have access.
  • Secure your computer and mobile devices
    • The greatest impact on the security of online shopping is the computer or mobile device you use. Make sure you have an appropriate anti-virus protection package, also on your smartphone and tablet. Currently, there is an increase in the amount of malware targeting mobile devices, therefore antivirus protection should be a priority for users. Before you start shopping online, it is worth having appropriate security software installed - especially valuable are those that offer application scanning and blocking of suspicious websites, and which automatically download updates and ensure data protection on a lost device.
  • Be smart if a deal looks too good to be true!
    • Who doesn't like big promotions? It is common practice among fake online stores to put things up for sale at significantly reduced prices. A new well-known mobile phone model at half its true market value is unlikely. When buying devices such as smartphones, computers, TVs or household appliances, you should only do it in stores known to us. If you want to hunt these products at lower prices, it is worth waiting for seasonal reductions. Let's not be fooled! It may turn out you get a cheaper or poor quality product than advertised and it will probably be impossible to recover the money.
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If you think your card has been used fraudulently let your bank know straight away so they can stop any further use of it. You’ll usually get your money back from your card company if your card details are used online by a criminal to commit fraud.

If you think you've been targeted by a scam you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use Action Fraud's online reporting tool.