safe xmas

Shop safely online

With the Christmas season fast approaching many of us buy our gifts online below are few trips on shopping safely.

Security software


Install a good and reliable anti-virus program and anti-spyware software on your computer and keep it up to date. You can buy software or use free downloads such as AVG Basic Free Edition and Malwarebytes (both highly recommended).

Be aware

Watch out for phishing emails – these are hoax emails, supposedly from banks and other financial institutions, but also from shop, online stores and delivery companies that ask you to click on a link to a website in the hope that you'll enter your account information. There are more and more online retailers being targeted by Phishing watch out for the scams.

Always type web addresses for your bank/store etc directly into your browsers address box, not into a search engine or search box, to avoid visiting bogus sites and hijacks. Using Favourites or bookmarks helps you to get the correct site quickly.

Credit cards

Paying by credit card is the safest option.

If you use a credit card to pay for goods worth more than £100 (and up to £30,000) your card company is jointly liable with the company that you buy from for any problems. If you use a UK Credit card, check with the card company that you have protection when buying from abroad. Not all debit cards carry the same protection check with your bank.

Electronic cash

For smaller purchases an e-cash system, such as PayPal, is a good alternative. This system allows you to send or receive payments securely over the web without sharing your financial details or credit card number with anyone else. The new Google Checkout system works in a similar way to PayPal.

On the site

Be sure the site is real before you buy, check the look and the general feel of the site. Does it look professional, are the graphics clear and aligned, is the spelling correct. If not then something could be wrong with the site.

Shopping basket and delivery

Many websites allow you to 'View Basket' so you can check what you've added, the total cost, and how many of each item you've ordered. Be aware that many online retailers will only deliver goods to the billing address of your credit card. Watch out for delivery charges, if you are ordering from UK companies the delivery charges to France are often higher than advertised.

Check out

Before you pay check the site uses a secure server. Look for padlock symbol on the address bar. The web address of a secure webpage starts with https: instead of http:, never buy from a site that is not secure.

Enter payment details

Enter your card details including the start and expiry date. Many websites now also ask for the security code to ensure the person ordering has the card in front of them. This is on the signature strip on the back of your credit card; just enter the last 3 digits.

Some bank and credit cards also have a verification system, some requite letters from a password, some use a small calculator type device to generate a code and some telephone you a verification code.

Keep a record

Ensure you keep a record of the transaction and the order number. You should receive a receipt via email; if you have spam-filtering software, this email may end up in your junk folder. Print it for safekeeping and keep it until your goods are delivered and credit card charged.


If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.