Shop safely online

With Christmas fast approaching, two modern day phenomena take place – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and is generally regarded as the start of the festive shopping season – people take advantage of the long weekend to hit the shops, while it's typically the last pay day before the holiday period. While originating in the US, it's become a growing trend across the globe in recent years, seeing retailers offering great deals and consumers clambering to get them!
More recently, Cyber Monday has been used as the term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, so called for its focus on encouraging consumers to shop online. Again it's a trend that's been taken up worldwide and there are some great bargains to be had.
However – and whenever - you choose to shop, you want to make sure it's a safe and positive experience. But when shopping online especially, there are a few extra precautions to take. We've gathered up some guides to help you stay safe and secure…
Our colleagues at the South West Grid for learning, part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, have published 10 tips for safe online shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These include:
  • Plan where to shop.
  • Check the company is reputable.
  • Verify that the checkout is secure.
  • Protect your personal information.
Read the full article on the South West Grid for Learning website.
Likewise, our Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre has also published some guides on eShopping, available in French and German, along with a great cartoon in German:
Since the launch of our new Better Internet for Kids portal last month, we've been delighted to be contacted by some industry representatives keen to promote a better and safer internet in their own areas of work and activities.
For example, Buyagift in the UK have created an interactive online guide on ‘How to trust a website when buying online'. Visitors to the guide can roll over the images and click on the buttons to learn more, such as understanding the key elements of a web page and using these to assess the validity of a website, or using search tactics to get reviews and ratings from other online shoppers. Buyagift have also produced a great static visual of the guide.
Focusing more on the financial side of online shopping, Sainsbury's Bank have created a useful guide of 15 steps to shopping safely online including tips on Wi-Fi security, using mobile banking to get alerts on transactions on your bank account, using social networking sites with caution, and knowing your online consumer rights.
Source: Sainsbury's Bank
Although both of these resources are primarily aimed at the UK market, the basic guidance stands firm for online shoppers across Europe and across the globe.
We hope you find the guides useful – and please get in touch if you have any similar resources to share.
Happy (online) shopping!

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