The face of modern crime has changed, online fraud is the most common crime in the UK with more than five and a half million cyber offenses are now thought to take place each year. In the past year, nearly £11bn was lost to cybercrime last year with the average victim losing £210 per person. So as you begin to shop for Christmas presents in the build-up to the big day, remember these five handy security tips:
Don't use public WiFi to shop. It may put your financial details at risk
Free wifi hotspots are always tempting to use when out and about. But as with most things online, you need to be careful that you don't fall prey to people trying to steal your personal and financial information. Read our tips on using public wifi.
Shopping using your credit card gives you added protection versus your debit card
If you purchase something online that's worth more than £100, it's certainly a good idea to use a credit card. If you spend more than £100 on your credit card, you have legal rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This helps you get a full refund from your credit provider in the case of a faulty that a company won't fix, or if a business goes bust before delivering your goods.
If you don't trust the sender, avoid clicking on links within an email
Don't assume anyone who's sent you an email or text message – or has called your phone or left you a voicemail message – is who they say they are. Phishing, vishing and smishing is when website, online service, phone call or text message that poses as a company or brand you recognise. Find out more about what to watch out for on the Action Fraud Site.
Look for websites that start with 'https://'. The 's' means the information you exchange is secure
A legitimate site will have a web address beginning with https (instead of just http) and will show a padlock in the address bar too. If it doesn't have these, get out of there!
Emails and texts from courier firms could be fraudulent
Type the address of the website in your browser to make sure you are going where you need to get to. especially if the sender's email address doesn't tally with the trusted organisation's website address. You can also spot a fake email by the sense of urgency used in the language - a threat of immediate deletion of an account is unlikely to come from a real company. Read out more tell-tale signs of fake emails.
If there is one more thing you do before you start your online shopping this Christmas it's to install proper online security. Without it you leave yourself open to a whole host of scams and threats. To give you and your family peace of mind to shop and browse safely from your mobiles, tablets and computers, add SuperSafe Boost in My Account for only £2 a month.