Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to shop for groceries, update your wardrobe, and book your next holiday from the comfort of your home. As a result, people are increasingly turning to online shopping. E-commerce is convenient, practical, and also safe if you take the appropriate protection measures.

To avoid falling victim to fraud and to protect your money and data, we recommend taking certain security measures before making an online purchase.

The 7 keys to making sure your online purchases are always secure

  • Watch out for links and offers that seem too good to be true
    You will most likely receive numerous commercial offers in your email inbox advertising prices well below those of the competition.If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unusually low prices can be a trap to attract unwary buyers. Do some research on other websites and distributors to check the actual market value of the product.
    In addition to suspicious emails, also be wary of offers sent through other channels, such as WhatsApp messages and pop-up windows. Even if the offer seems tempting, take a few moments to analyse the legitimacy of the seller before making a purchase or opening any associated links or attachments.
  • Legitimate websites
    Secure websites always have a padlock symbol in the address bar and start with https://. This information demonstrates that the website holds a certificate guaranteeing the encryption of your personal information. However, remember that some cybercriminals are able to falsify this information. Therefore, for increased security, click on the padlock to see if the digital certificate is valid and if it corresponds to the website you want to access.
  • Secure connections
    Remember to never use public internet connections to make online purchases as they do not offer any security guarantees. Whenever you are required to enter bank details to carry out a transaction, make sure you do so through a known and secure Wi-Fi network.
  • Website appearance
    Simply paying attention to the appearance of a website can give you a good idea of its legitimacy. Pay particular attention to links and check they are correct. Sometimes, changing just one letter is all it takes to trick internet users. Similarly, watch out for design errors that are common on fraudulent websites: multiple fonts on the same web page, low-quality images, or poorly translated texts, etc.
  • Secure e-commerce certificate
    Try to limit your purchases to online stores that use registered Secure Electronic Commerce (CES) systems (e.g., Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode). These systems require the buyer to confirm each online purchase with an SMS code or set code. This extra step increases the security of your online payments.
  • Opinions of other users
    Whether you are suspicious of the authenticity of an online store or you want to compare multiple product options, it is advisable to read the comments left by previous buyers. The online experiences shared by other buyers can help you to choose the best and most secure option.
  • Check your accounts
    A good security measure for online shoppers is to check the status of their cards and bank accounts on a regular basis. Therefore, check that all the transactions correspond to purchases that you have made, especially after purchasing through an online store. If you are suspicious or have any questions, contact your bank branch.