1. Use web browser protection
While shopping online you may come across what appear to be legitimate-looking websites created with the express intent of committing financial or identity fraud. Hackers can also infect legitimate or reputable websites, such that by merely going to a website, you could infect your family's computer and expose your personal details and financial welfare to risk.
Reputable browser protection, such as PC Tools Browser Defender, warns you about potentially dangerous websites and identifies websites that are trying to infect or harm your computer - standard option with PC Tools Internet Security.
2. Install comprehensive security protection
You can also help protect yourself from malicious attacks by installing reputable security software such as Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus or PC Tools Internet Security which are recommended by leading independent publications. Make sure your security product has real-time and browser protection, which can block attacks as they happen and while you surf the web, as well as behavioural protection, which helps protect against new and unknown threats.3. Ensure you have the latest updates
Always keep your product up to date. Ensure you are using the inbuilt Smart Update feature which automatically downloads the latest databases and software updates.
4. Do your homework
5. Be click aware
Be wise about clicking on links in emails from online retailers. Cybercriminals wanting to steal your personal information can now create emails that look exactly the same as those that come from well-known online stores. So even emails that may appear to be from a legitimate company may be dangerous. Make sure you have a powerful spam filter that automatically detects suspicious emails as they arrive in your inbox.
6. Look for the signs
Using your browser, you can view the site's security certificate and verify that it is issued to the web site you intended. A security certificate is designed to give you comfort that the information you send from your computer is kept secure from access by other parties. You should also check that the security certificate is registered to the website you are visiting. You can do this by double clicking on the security icon and verifying that the name in the certificate matches the name of the retailer.
7. Pay using a secure method
If you use a debit card when purchasing from an online shopping site, the purchase amount will be immediately withdrawn from your account and will be more difficult to get back if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent. If you use a credit card you can contest transactions before you pay your monthly statement. Frequent online shoppers should consider setting up a separate credit card with a low limit, so that if their details do get stolen, a thief will be limited in the amount of money they can charge to the card.
8. Don't give out too many details
9. Keep records of the transaction
Make sure you print and save records of any online transactions, including the product description, price and the receipt of payment. If the site turns out to be fraudulent, you'll need this information to advise the relevant authorities in order to try to get your money back.