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Banking and shopping online

What is so appealing about the Internet is the amount of goods and services at your fingertips – with a few clicks of your mouse you can bank online, pay your council tax and do your weekly shopping.

Sadly, fraudsters will try and gain access to your identity and information in order to gain control over your online bank account, through a variety of means.

Action Fraud UK offer some top tips in order for you to be switched on to staying safe whilst banking and paying for shopping and other services online:

When banking online:

Make sure your computer has up-to-date security

Do you have anti-virus software and a firewall installed? Download the latest security updates for your browser and operating system.

Can you see the locked padlock?

All banking websites will display a lacked padlock or unbroken key symbol in the browser, signalling a secure connection. When a connection is secure, the bank’s internet address should change from ‘http’ to ‘https’.

What’s that email?

Be wary of emails that may look like they’re from your bank, asking for personal financial information. These are what is known as a phishing scam – your bank or even the police would never contact you in this way to ask you for your bank details or to disclose your PIN.

Is your browser secure?

Ensure your internet browser is set to the highest level of security – these aren’t always set as default on your computer, tablet or other device.

Type it in:

Always access internet banking sites by typing the bank’s web address into your web browser. Never click on a supposed link to the bank in an email and enter your personal details – this may be a scam.

When shopping online:

Get Verified: Most online retailers use Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode to ensure your online transactions go smoothly and safely. This involves you registering a passcode with your card company.

Stay secure:

Only shop on secure sites. Again, all secure sites display a lacked padlock or unbroken key symbol in the browser, signalling a secure connection. When a connection is secure, the internet address should change from ‘http’ to ‘https’.

Stay smart:

Never send your PIN over the internet.

Just in case:

Print out your order and keep copies of the retailer’s terms and conditions, returns policy, delivery conditions, postal address and phone number (preferably a landline number).

For more information on how to foil the fraudster, please visit Action Fraud UK on

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