Last-minute Christmas shoppers who turn to the internet for inspiration have been warned to take special care.

Jenny Osborne, of Henshalls lnsurance Brokers, in Newport and Shrewsbury, said cyber shopping brought its own very specific kind of risks when compared to shopping on the High Street.

“In today’s technological times, there really is no excuse to be dashing out to the 24-hour petrol station on Christmas Eve and coming back with a sponge and some screen wash.

“We all have a whole host of devices at our fingertips now that mean we can access a whole world of shopping at the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen. And with just days to go until Christmas actually arrives, cyberspace is becoming increasingly busy as people realise they still need to complete their shopping list.”

But Jenny warned that cyber shopping can be a risky business, not least when it comes to accessing your bank account.

“Everyone should have antivirus software in place as a minimum form of protection, but there are other steps you can take that will help protect you in the online marketplace.

“Always use a PIN or password to stop anyone else accessing what’s on your smartphone or your Ipad, and if your device has a GPS or a built-in location service, make sure you don’t add your home address so thieves won’t be able to find you.

“When it comes to checking your bank account to see the bad news about just how much you’ve actually spent, if you’re using your phone, make sure you always use a secure internet connection. You can spot this by looking for ’https’ at the beginning of the address and the padlock symbol in the browser frame.

“And never, ever, disclose passwords or other personal information in response to an email, phone call or letter that says it’s from your bank – they will never ask you to reveal that kind of information.

“While you’re shopping online, look out for phishing scams, including fake friend requests and posts from individuals or companies inviting you to visit other web pages or sites. There are many advantages of having the whole world available online, but it’s vital that savvy shoppers stay safe to avoid falling victim to Christmas cybercrime.”

For more information contact Jenny on 01952 820358 or email josborne@henshalls.com

 

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