10 Online shopping tips to keep you safe

Take these precautions when shopping digitally Photo: FLY:D/Unsplash


Don’t get caught out when buying Christmas presents online this December, follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim.

SHOPPING for the festive season can be a daunting undertaking, with online shopping a really convenient option.

If you’re new to online shopping, or even if you’re a regular, you can become a victim of cybercrime if you’re not careful.
Here are some top tips to ensure you’re getting what you want and don’t become a victim of fraud.


  1. Check the website
    If the site says http, avoid it. Rather check that the site URL is https as the ‘s’ indicates that it’s secure because it has an SSL – secure sockets layer – that encrypts your data.
  2. Careful what you share
    You will obviously need to share some details to get the products, but don’t give out personal information like your ID number, birthday, or other personal information that could make you a victim of theft.
  3. Keep passwords strong
    Strong passwords are your best defence against cybercriminals. Harder to remember, but better for you! Keep changing these regularly as well.
  4. Avoid public locations
    Do not do your online shopping in public settings like a café, as the WiFi is open to everyone and you’re risking sharing your banking details. Make sure you shop at home or on a secure network.


  1. Shop with reputable retailers
    Check online retailers’ reviews and make sure you’re working off the real site, not a fake one that appears to be real.
  2. Watch out for scams
    Scammers love to send emails and texts offering bargains, or claiming there’s been a problem with your delivery. Delete any suspicious messages with spelling mistakes from unfamiliar senders. Don’t open any attachments or click on links as these could infect your computer or phone with viruses and malware.
  3. Save the information
    Once you’ve made your purchase, keep your details safe such as the order confirmation and tracking numbers. If you have a problem with the order, this will help you get the issue resolved quickly.
  4. Track your goods
    Once you’ve bought the goods, track the shipping and keep updated on where it is at all times. This is especially important over the festive season when there is a surge in orders.
  5. Watch out for ‘too good to be true’
    If the price is too low, something is wrong; you’re not getting what you paid for, the item is damaged, fake, or stolen. Too good to be true is just that!
  1. Use a credit card
    Shopping with a debit card isn’t safe as it doesn’t have the same security protections as a credit card. Rather transfer your money into your credit card to stay safe.

The Citizen/Lauren Anthony