1) Use Secure Websites
Check the URL in the address bar at the top of your web browser. If it begins with "https" and you can see a padlock symbol, it’s a sign of a secure site and a genuine retailer. If you’re buying from a new site for the first time, do your research and don’t give your card details unless it’s secure.
2) Use a credit card for items over £100
Use a credit card instead of a debit card if you’re buying anything worth over £100 as it gives you legal rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Similar protection called 'chargeback' is given for purchases worth less than £100, which applies even if you pay by debit card. Remember, it’s best practice to pay off a credit card in full each month – don’t pay any unnecessary interest charges. When buying on eBay, consider using PayPal for added protection as most items will be protected by eBay’s money back guarantee.
3) Keep your passwords safe
Make your passwords harder for fraudsters to crack by creating a strong password. Use a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters and make your password a minimum of 8 characters. If you think someone may know your password, change it immediately. Avoid easily guessable passwords – for example, single dictionary words or passwords based on something people can find out about you such as names, dates, address or family. Try using the first letter of each word of a sentence that is much harder to guess but easy to remember. And remember, if you think someone may know your password, change it immediately.
4) Keep your computer, laptop or tablet safe
Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed, and that it gets regular security updates. Familiarise yourself with your browser security settings. Don’t make any purchases on a shared public Wi-Fi network or a computer that can be accessed by other members of the public.
5) Emails and social media
If you receive a text, email or see something on social media offering you a deal out of the blue, be cautious! Always access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser. Don’t click on links or download attachments from an unknown sender. If a deal looks too good to be true it probably is, so avoid it.
Daniel Hughes, is a Senior Marketing Manager, responsible for managing the communications with our members. He is based at the Lichfield office, and is an avid sports fan who loves live events.Read more of Daniel's articles