Online shopping is the way the majority of us shop these days. It’s quick and convenient, and can be done from home or even when out and about. With a well-established online market, the UK offers a broad range of sectors to shop from,  but how do you know which websites are safe when buying online? How do you protect your personal financial information?

Staying safe while you’re shopping online is one of the most important parts of your shopping experience, especially when there are a lot of scammers out there who will try to steal your banking details. Cybercriminals nowadays use different methods to exploit online payments, aiming to get hold of your personal data, or simply make money out of you by persuading you to click on links.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid online shopping altogether. By taking the proper precautions and following some important Internet security tips, safe online shopping is indeed possible. Here are our top tips to make online shopping more secure!

  1. Keep your devices up to date

Devices with outdated software are most vulnerable. Before you begin your online shopping spree, ensure you have a reliable and up-to-date security package installed on your device. Make sure you download and install all web browser and operating system updates when prompted. We know you may not always want to wait for a 10-minute iPhone update, but hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in device operating systems. So making sure your devices are up to date, will keep you safer.


  1. Enable two-factor authentication

Secure your sensitive information by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds a second layer of security to the authentication process, making it harder for scammers to access your devices or online account.  Knowing your password alone is no longer enough to access your account and exploit your personal information. In most cases, the extra authentication factor is simply a code sent to your phone that can only be used once.

  1. Watch out for suspicious emails

Be extra cautious when opening your inbox. Email scams are becoming increasingly more difficult to detect, so you need to check the sender’s address and avoid clicking on any links, especially if the email is poorly written. If you receive any suspicious emails, immediately delete them.  It’s best to avoid clicking on email links and visit the website directly instead.

  1. Ensure your session is secure

You should never shop on a website that doesn’t use HTTPS in the address bar. HTTPS means that a website encrypts your sensitive data transmitted through the website. You should also use websites where a small lock symbol is shown in front of the website address and websites that you know and trust, or have been recommended by people you know. If in doubt, search the internet for customer reviews or information on the site.

  1. Don’t use an online shop that requires more information than necessary

You never want to give them more information than necessary to make the sale, such as your bank account information or driver’s licence number. Some companies ask questions about your interests, but these should always be optional. Make sure to check the site’s privacy policy to understand how exposed your information may become and choose to buy from companies that respect your privacy.

Don’t forsake security for convenience…

Online shopping can be a convenient way to find great deals and make comparisons, but it’s also a ground for scammers, so you need to be prepared. Take these tips into consideration next time you enjoy a little “therapy” session and make sure you exercise good password hygiene by choosing solid and unique passwords for each account and changing them regularly. Finally, if you think you have been defrauded, call your bank immediately and explain the situation.