Tips to stay safe when shopping online
Things have changed recently and a lot more of us have had to rely on online shopping for most things. Although this offers great convenience and simplicity, we also need to make sure that we take the necessary precautions to stay safe online.
Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to evolve their tricks and efforts to scam people and have used the recent pandemic and surge in online shopping to this end.
At Ikano Bank we take security very seriously and do all we can to help protect our customers. We try to make sure that you have the knowledge and tools to keep your details safe and your transactions secure.
Below are some essential tools and tips you can use to ensure you keep one step ahead of fraudsters and continue to have an enjoyable shopping experience.
Before you start shopping
- Make sure you have anti-virus software installed to help protect your devices from viruses and hackers.
- Always download the latest software updates as soon as possible as these often contain vital security upgrades.
When shopping online
- Think before you click: Beware of ads encouraging you to click on links. It’s safer to go direct to the retailer website to check out the offer as fraudsters sometimes use hidden links to direct you to fake websites.
- Look for the padlock symbol: Before entering any payment details on a website ensure that the padlock symbol is displayed to the left of the website address.
- Do your homework: A genuine retailer is more likely to have a contact number and address listed. Does the website look ok? You can sometimes spot fraudulent sites by poor design and spelling mistakes – if it doesn’t feel right then do more research before making any purchases.
- What do others say?: It’s often a good idea to use review sites such as Trustpilot.com or Reviews.co.uk to see what others have experienced before making a purchase.
- Use a secure WiFi: Whilst shopping online from your favourite coffee shop is convenient, your internet connection may not be safe as fraudsters can intercept a public network. Don’t make any purchases on a public WiFi, instead either use your own network provider or install a virtual private network (VPN) which will provide increased security.
Stay up to date on the latest scams
The well known consumer site Which? offers a free scam alert service straight to your inbox.
Shopping online should be a convenient and fun experience; being aware of and combining the tips above helps to keep it that way.
Remember: if something doesn’t feel right – it probably isn’t.
If you think you have been a victim of online fraud you should - first and foremost - contact your bank or financial services provider so they can take the necessary steps to protect your account. You can also go to actionfraud.police.uk to find further advice, guidance or submit a fraud report.
Keep your details safe
We're supporting the Take Five campaign to help you better understand fraud and protect yourself against identity theft and suspicious emails.
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