Good Housekeeping (UK)

Are you SHOPPING safely?

With more of us than ever shopping online, it’s time to get savvy


Online sales in the UK grew by almost 40% in 2020* as high streets went into lockdown and people of all ages increasing­ly went digital. But while online shopping is quick and convenient, it’s still important to protect yourself and talk to loved ones about staying safe online. Here are our simple steps to shopping securely.


If you’re making a purchase from a retailer you haven’t used before, check out the reviews on customer feedback sites. Look out for comments about the quality of goods, delivery times or the non-arrival of purchases.


How you pay online matters. Using a Visa debit or credit card gives you a layer of protection should things go wrong. Together with your bank, Visa uses multiple levels of security to prevent unauthoris­ed use of your card and protect your data. So when you complete your transactio­n, you may be prompted to verify your identity with a one-time passcode or fingerprin­t to ensure the payment is coming from you and not a fraudster.


If you use online banking, try signing up for transactio­n alerts so you can see when money goes out of your account. Tell your bank immediatel­y if you spot any unusual payments. For peace of mind, paying by Visa debit or credit card means you’ll be covered by its Zero Liability Policy, so you won’t be held responsibl­e for any unauthoris­ed or fraudulent charges on your account.


To make sure a website is secure before you shop, check that the URL starts with ‘https://’ — the ‘s’ signifies that it’s a secure connection. Look out for the padlock symbol in your browser’s address bar too.


To increase online security, always set a strong password. A password manager can create and remember these for you; you’ll need to log in to access them, but at least that’s only one password you have to remember! Better yet, you could set up your banking app with your fingerprin­t, which is a quick, easy and safe way to pay online.


You may be entitled to your money back if you don’t receive goods or services you’ve paid for online. If you’ve paid with a Visa debit, credit or prepaid card, you can make a chargeback claim to your card issuer, which allows it to ask the retailer’s bank for the money back.

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