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Staying Safe Online

In light of recent and continuing events, we are now spending a lot more time at home, and, as a consequence, we are spending a lot more time online. In a bid to protect ourselves and our families, we are shopping online more and more for essential groceries and home supplies. 

According to Google Trends, simple terms such as ‘online shopping’ have sent the search engines into a frenzy – see the graph below for the UK search history over the last 12 months.

Some retailers are even experiencing a 700% increase in searches over the last seven days for online deliveries. See the stats below for queries related to ‘online shopping’

Due to this huge increase in shopping online we have put together a quick guide to help you stay safe online.

 

Anti-Virus software
This might be one of the simplest yet most effective ways of keeping yourself safe online. As you spend more time on your device and use various payment methods, a reputable and reliable anti-virus tool can help you protect your device and your cash from potential viruses.

Unique passwords
Again, this might sound simple but make sure you use a unique password for each retailer and keep them strong – use a tool such as a password generator to create a strong password. If you need to send your password to a friend or family member, do so via pwpush.

Limit what you access over public WiFi
Many public places across the country offer WiFi, in particular hospitals and supermarkets. If you are in one of the public places which offers free WiFi, please don’t access anything sensitive such as bank accounts as public connections can sometimes not be as secure as your own personal WiFi connection.

Set up 2 Factor Authentication
Where possible pay with PayPal, and to avoid your PayPal account getting hacked we would recommend that you set up 2 Factor Authentication. To do this, and to access any FAQs around this please see PayPal Support.

Last year we wrote an article on Strong Customer Authentication and how it was becoming increasingly important – visit the article here to learn more.

Check your online banking
If you can, check your online banking on a regular basis. This will ensure that if there has been any unusual activity on your account, you will see it. If you do notice anything unusual or potentially fraudulent, you should act quickly by contacting your card provider or bank. If you lose your card or it is stolen, you can use the emergency bank contact details created by our client MustCompare.co.uk, to contact your provider and block your card.

Check for SSL
If a website doesn’t show the secure padlock or has HTTP instead of HTTPS in its URL, then it is best not to use it for online shopping. An SSL certificate stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ and means that the data you are inputting into a website will be transferred from your device’s browser, to the target encrypted and secure.

If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share with us, please get in touch. Otherwise, stay safe, both online and offline.