1) Just because it has a padlock, it doesn't mean that it's a safe site
· Always make sure that the web page you are entering your address details and credit card details into is done over HTTPS.
· Also check and make sure that the certificate is registered to the retailer you're visiting.
· Double clicking on the padlock icon located in the bottom of the web browser will provide details about the security certificate.
2) Never use a debit card to purchase goods online
· Credit cards enable you to contest any fraudulent transactions prior to paying your monthly statement.
· Debit card transactions are immediately withdrawn, and you will have to successfully contest a fraudulent transaction before your money can be recovered.
3) Don't click on the links listed within emails that appear to come from an online retailer
· In many cases, during peak periods and the holiday season, many of the email offers you will receive in your email will be faked or spoofed.
· Instead, manually type the URL in to your Web browser.
· If you're in a rush, just type the name of the web site, and navigate to the specials page from there.
4) If you're not sure about a website and the specials it is offering - don't stay on the site - go elsewhere
· If it looks like a deal too good to be true, it probably is.
· Many seasonal sites appear and are purposefully designed to propagate drive-by-download attacks and silently install malware on the visitors computer.
5) Be careful with the data being asked for to validate your purchase
· No online retailer should be asking for details beyond your name, billing address, card number, card expiry date and CVV2 code on the back of the card.
· You may be asked about additional contact details (e.g. email address and contact phone number) for arranging delivery. Only supply them if you trust the site to keep them confidential.
· You should never be asked for personal details such as your social security number, mothers maiden name or card PIN. Legitimate retailers would never ask for any of this additional information.
· If you encounter web sites asking for these details - STOP - and immediately contact your bank to report them.