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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost upon us. Last year, a staggering £1.39bn was spent online over the Black Friday weekend according to IMRG. Of that £1.39bn more than £542 million was spent with someone using their smartphone.

1. Don’t use public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is a breeding ground for data thieves. You cannot tell if a public Wi-Fi connection is safe and secure, so you should never enter your card details whilst connected. Ideally, you should be on a secure, private connection that you trust and you know who created it. If you must shop online whilst you are out and about, your regular mobile data will be safer than public Wi-Fi.

2. Check before you buy

If you come across a website that has an excellent deal but you have never shopped with them before, check them out before you enter any payment details to make sure it is a legitimate site. Carry out a search on Google or have a look at reviews, just don’t click and buy because you think the deal is too good to miss.

3. Look for the padlock

In the URL bar there should be a padlock next to the web address. This symbol means the site is secure but doesn’t always mean the seller is honest. Be wary if you don’t know who you are buying from, but always make sure that little padlock is sitting at the top of the page.

4. Use a credit card

If you can, use a credit card when shopping online as you have an extra layer of protection. Debit cards link straight to your financial accounts whereas credit cards don’t and you only have a set limit you can spend on them. If you can use something like PayPal, that would be even better.

5. Report it

If you think your card has been cloned or there are transactions you don’t recognize, call your bank and block your cards immediately, don’t wait around! Make sure you check your statements on a regular basis so you know what you have spent and more importantly, what you haven’t.

Stay safe this shopping season!

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