Shopping Safely During Christmas

The Christmas period is approaching and it’s that time where we all approach our favourite retailers, ready to pick out gifts and treats for those we love and care about. Many of us have had to adapt to online shopping this year and it seems though the traditional walk along Oxford Street maybe off this year, but we can still conduct our shopping online. However, there are things we need to be cautious about during a time like this. 

Fake Online Stores

These will look completely verified, and the layout will look exactly the same as some of the biggest online retailor websites, but these sites don’t actually sell anything. They will accept your payments, but you will never receive your item. Around the Christmas period these sites start popping up, offering amazing deals. Deals that seem too good to be true; if they are, be suspicious and careful. 

Data Breach 

A few years ago, Amazon suffered a Data Breach, in which some 80,000 people had their private details, like addresses and bank details exposed. Amazon was hit because of their new feature, the ability for One-Click payment. 
Yes, it is quick and easy, but it means that all of your personal information is exposed. Don’t keep any information saved on retail sites. It may take a few moments longer, but you will be thanking me when those extra couple of seconds saves you from you’re bank details being abused. 

Malware and Adware

There are and always will be malicious sites and applications on the internet. They latch on to your desktop or laptop, and corrupt your files and gain authorisation to your computer software. Malware comes in many different shapes and sizes, all designed to spoil your festive period. Especially over Christmas, when you may see enticing adverts on the side of web pages, they thrive at this time of the year. 

Don’t worry, that’s why we have the likes of Norton and McAfee to protect us. Even if it wasn’t in the run up to Christmas, you shouldn’t be on the internet without some sort of anti-virus software. They may cost some money, but what they ensure is near priceless. There is a lot of nasty things circulating the internet, so please make sure you are protected. Better safe than sorry.

Credit Card Fraud

We’ve focused a lot on online theft, but for this, it starts with physical theft. From pickpockets to just simply dropping or losing your cards, if you get home from a long day, to find your card is missing or stolen, it creates a whole world of stress and anxiety. It could also be that the details on your card is stolen through some of the means discussed above but the result is the same. The thief wants either money from your account or buy items in your name. 

Look after your cards. When shopping online you need your credit or debit card, so make sure it is always on you and in a safe place. Don’t entrust it to others, even if it is a friend, and be wise in crowded places. Some good advice would be to always check your bank statements to check if there has been any purchases that weren’t done by you and go straight to your bank. 

Some tips and advice that I didn’t include above, but is still really important. 

It is important to also never make any online purchases when using public Wi-Fi. You may not be paying for the Wi-Fi but you will be paying the consequences if you aren’t careful. Only use secure Wi-Fi connections that you trust, and that only you can get on to.   

Another good tip is to always make sure your operating systems and software is kept up to date. They are designed to help keep you safe while you’re surfing the web but malicious software is always updating and trying to find new ways to get your details. So, make sure you update your software accordingly.   

Christmas is a time of joy and love, trading presents and spending time on the people you hold most dear to you. It is a magical time of year and should definitely be celebrated with good food, good drink and amazing company. With these basic measurements, you can ensure that your Christmas is all of these things, and you can rest assured that your online presence is kept under lock and key.