Tips to shopping safely online this Christmas

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

With Christmas just a few weeks away, we share some tips to circulate to your colleagues in December. If they are using work devices to make purchases or are working on a personal device that they use for shopping, it is worth reminding them of how important it is to stay safe when purchasing Christmas gifts.

1. Know who you are buying from

Can you trust the retailer you’re giving your contact and bank details to? If they are a known high street store, make sure you are visiting their official website rather than a spoof. If they are a smaller independent, do they have a padlock next to their web address and have you checked reviews of their service elsewhere online?

2. Use a credit card for online purchases

If things go wrong, a credit card can act as a safety net since it is easier to recover your money than when paying with a debit card or by bank transfer.

3. Only give the details you need to complete your payment

Limit the information you give out about yourself to reduce the chances of fraud. If there are optional fields on the payment page, consider whether you really need to fill them out.

4. Choose strong passwords

Do you use a unique password for each online account you hold? Is your email password substantially different from your shopping profiles? Remember that if a criminal could guess your email password, they could reset all of your other passwords as well.

5. Be wary of suspicious links

Do not click on links in emails or text messages unless you are absolutely certain they come from a trustworthy source. Criminals will be prying on shoppers ready to claim Black Friday offers from their email inbox.

It’s helpful to keep these points in mind for quick reference however, you can find more guidance in our previous blog post for Black Friday:

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also has a wealth of guidance for shopping online securely:

Finally, you can follow the Take Five campaign from UK Finance and the government and Get Safe Online’s #SafeChristmasShopping series on social media this month with tips that you may wish to pass onto your team. We will be sharing these on our NEBRC profiles.