• Simon

It's Christmas.....Dont Get Caught Out buying goods on line

Stay safe on line this Christmas and don't get scammed, I know that a lot of us will be buying presents on line and getting them sent to families and friends all over the world. Here are are few points to consider when you are ordering goods on line.

Don’t pay for anything by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know, however desperate you are to buy. If it’s a fraud, it’s doubtful the bank will be able to recover or refund your money. The safest way to pay for anything is by credit card.

Make sure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly. Fraudsters can set up convincing websites with very similar spelling to the authentic one.

Ensure that payment pages are secure, by checking that addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar.

When you’ve finished paying, log out of your account. Simply closing the page may not do this automatically.Counterfeit goods are of inferior quality, can be dangerous and contravene copyright law, costing the livelihoods of workers who make the real thing.

Don’t buy fakes intentionally or get duped into buying them, however cheap or ‘authentic’.Beware of ‘free’ or ‘low-cost’ trials – whether slimming pills or the latest tech – without thoroughly reading the small print and trusted reviews. You could be signing up for large monthly direct debits which are difficult to cancel.

Check that a holiday or travel you book online is genuine by researching it thoroughly. Look for independent reviews, and make sure travel agents / tour operators are genuine by checking for an ABTA/ATOL

Buy concert, event, fixture or entry tickets from official sources such as box offices, sports clubs or reputable fan ticket exchange sites. If you don’t, you could be paying for fake or non-existent tickets.

Watch out for unexpected emails, texts or posts urging you to click on a link or attachment. For example, at this time of year fake parcel firm delivery messages containing harmful attachments disguised as delivery notes are commonplace.

Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running whenever your computer or mobile device is switched on.

Do not be tempted to download programs or apps that are not from a trusted source, as they could contain malware.

Download updates to your programs and apps when prompted to do so … they often include security fixes.Take great care about which links you click on in emails – they may be phishing.

Take great care about opening attachments in emails, even if they seem to be from people you know.

Avoid suspicious website and torrent downloading. Many such downloads are not only against the law but also a major gateway for this type of cyber-attack.

Cover your webcam when not in use, whether it is a built-in or clip-on device.

The advice is endless but the above should go some way in protecting you this Christmas.


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