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With many of us flocking online to do our Christmas shopping, commit these seven tips to memory to make sure your experience is safe and hassle-free.


1. Guard your privacy Do not disclose personal information unless you know who is collecting it and how it is being used. Some websites sell their customer information to third parties, so check the small print and opt out of sharing your information if you don’t want other people to use it.

2. Don’t be scammed

It’s not difficult to set up a page on the Internet. Do some background research on the retailer you are buying from, especially if they are not a familiar brand name or you have not come across their website before. Simply google the retailer name and/or URL and read reviews of the site.


3. Look for the https

Use a secure browser as it encrypts the purchase information you send over the Internet, which makes the transaction more secure. The majority of browsers do this as standard. The URL should start with https://

4. Update your anti-virus software

Install or update anti-virus software on your PC and download all security updates.

5. Zero liability

Making purchases using a credit or debit card is often safer as liability for unauthorised charges is limited. But remember, as a customer, you have the responsibility to inform your financial institution if you become aware of or see an unauthorised transaction on your card, or if your card is lost and stolen.

6. Opt-in for extra online security with your bank

Many financial providers also put an extra level of security on online purchases which protects confidential cardholder. This is usually done by submitting an additional password known only to the cardholder, for example with MasterCard SecureCode. It provides enhanced protection against the risk of credit or debit account numbers being accessed by fraudsters.

7. Keep a record of all transactions

It’s important to keep records of transactions and payments online. Remember to check the payment details before submitting the final payment; check the returns policy and data protection cover. Finally, print out a copy of the transaction, get a copy emailed directly to you, and make sure that the amount matches on your statement at the end of the month.

Which sites do you use for Christmas shopping?