Shopping Safety

It’s 2022 and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, why wouldn’t you shop online? 

You scroll for days and never run out of things to browse. Whether you’re looking for clothes, cars, houses, or flights – you’ll find it all on the world wide web. 

Online shopping has become so popular, that our browsers like chrome or safari now have the option to save your card details to make it even easier. On Amazon, all you have to do is swipe right on the product you want and it will be delivered to you within hours.

With the simplicity of it all, comes the bad actors. Phishing and hacking scams have become increasingly common over the last 2 years. The top 4 cyber-crimes in 2021 were phishing, data breach, cyber extortion, and identity theft.

It’s not all bad though. We are here to show you some simple steps and practices you can follow to keep yourself safe while shopping online.

Create Strong Passwords

Something that we see a lot is mass data breaches that compromise your passwords, so having a strong password is extremely important. Steer clear of using your own name, and make sure that you use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters. It is important to regularly change your passwords, ideally once a year. Do not share your password with anyone, ever.

Shop Familiar Websites

Trusted websites like Amazon, ASOS, and Marks & Spencers, are going to be a safe place for you to shop online. It’s important to be cautious when using an unfamiliar site, and if something feels off, you can visit a website like to find reviews and ratings of the site. Always keep an eye out for strange-looking domain names and URLs.

Avoid Shopping or Banking in Public

Avoid banking and shopping while out and about and entering any login details while using public wifi. Public wifi may not always be secure and it is very simple for strangers to access and read your data, and sensitive information in plain text. If possible, you should download an app that will scramble your sensitive information, like a VPN, while connected to public wifi. However, it is better to avoid online shopping or banking in public.

Check for a secure sockets layer

You should steer clear of websites without a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), a security technology for establishing an encrypted link between you and a server.  There are two ways to find out if a site has a Secure Socket Layer. If a site does have an SSL, its URL will read ‘HTTPS’ as opposed to ‘HTTP’, and it will also have a lock symbol in front of the URL or domain.  From the photo, we can see that Google does have an SSL. You should not use your debit or credit card on any site without an SSL.

Watch what you’re sharing

Other than government websites, online shopping sites don’t need to know your PPS, National Insurance, or Social Security Number, and you should be aware of identity theft or someone trying to access your bank accounts. It’s important to know what is normal to share online and what isn’t. It’s ok to share your card details on a secure and trusted website, but if someone has asked you for your PPS, National Insurance, or Social Security Number - something is very wrong.

"False Information Is So Much More Than Just A Simple Lie"