An Garda Síochána launches safe online shopping campaign

Before the Christmas rush, An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) and Europol have released 12 golden rules for safe online shopping.

With the traditional shopping period of 8 December on the horizon, people are looking to online retailers for their Christmas gifts. More than 50% of Irish consumers are expected to shop online over the festive period. During December 2016 there was a 15.4% increase in online purchases compared to 2015.

According to research carried out for Ireland’s Fraud Awareness Week, 58% of people in Ireland believe they are more vulnerable to fraud now than two years ago.

Online consumers are advised to follow the 12 Golden Rules of Safe Online Shopping released by An Garda Síochána.

The dos:

  • Only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with.
  • Use credit cards when buying items online.
  • Make sure the data transfer is appropriately protected. Look for the padlock symbol.
  • Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details.
  • Be aware of how to control the recurring charge if paying for a continuous service online.
  • Always save all documents related to your online purchases.

The don’ts:

  • If you are not buying a specific product or service, don’t submit your card details.
  • Avoid doing your online shopping at sites that don’t use full authentication.
  • Never send your card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email.
  • When buying something online from another person, do not send money up front.
  • Never send your card details in an unencrypted email.
  • Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know online.

Most importantly, if you are shopping online, remember to regularly check your statements and transactions for any fraud or suspicious activity.

Want to know more about protecting yourself or your business from the increasing threat of cyber criminals this festive period?

Our must-have guide Security in the Digital Word features simple explanations, examples and advice to help you be security-aware online.

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