Five top tips to help you stay safe when buying online

Business Insights

In the past, only Cyber Monday required your concern about staying safe online. Black Friday sales used to be reserved for the retail sector only, and you had to go into a shop to take advantage of them. This is why Cyber Monday was created. It was supposed to be the e-commerce equivalent to Black Friday, with special deals reserved for online shoppers only. But now that Black Friday has evolved to encompass both retail and e-commerce, it has become more important than ever to look after yourself while shopping virtually.

In preparation for the upcoming sales, leading housing association Bromford – has released a list of five top tips to help you stay safe when buying online.

    1. Know who you’re buying from

Be wary of brands, websites or marketplaces that you have not heard of before. This is especially important when buying any technology. It is always safer to buy from trusted brands or websites that you know have a good reputation, and have measures in place to protect you if something goes wrong. Retailers like Amazon or eBay are popular for a reason, as you will rarely find yourself on the wrong end of a scam. But, if you aren’t sure, a google search of the company and its reviews is always a good idea.

    2. Keep your passwords safe and secure

Never give out your passwords or information that could compromise them. Often, the easiest way for hackers and scammers to steal from you is to try and obtain your password. Don’t make it easy for them – the only person that should know your password is you.

Hackers can use software that guesses your password. The longer you make your password, and the more varied your use of uppercase and lowercase letters (along with numbers and symbols), the harder it will be for them. Each additional character drastically increases the difficulty to guess your password. Bear this in mind if you find yourself creating new accounts in order to take part in the sales.

    3. Be careful with international shipping

Sometimes, depending on what you’re buying, international shipping can be unavoidable, but it still pays to be careful. Make sure you’re checking the expected delivery date and any potential import fees. International shipping will naturally take longer to arrive than anything being bought within the UK, and you don’t want to accidentally pay more than you expected. So, if you’re buying any Christmas gifts, make sure that they are likely to arrive before you need them.

    4. Double check your order details

Even though some deals are time sensitive, before clicking that last button to confirm your purchase, it is always worth going over the details of your order one last time. Often, you’ll be invited to check all the details you’ve put in throughout the process anyway, with a final confirmation page that has all the order information in one place. Be sure you’ve put your credit card details in correctly, or selected the right one if you have multiple cards saved with the website you’re using.

    5. Monitor your bank statements regularly

Checking your bank statements regularly is a good habit to get into, and you don’t have to wait until the end of each month. During the sales especially, online banking is a quick and convenient way to check up on how much money is leaving your account, and when it is due to leave. If there are any payments you didn’t authorise, the best course of action is always to pick up the phone and call your bank to address the issue immediately.

Bromford is a housing provider offering a range of affordable and open market sale homes for local property seekers. For more information on Bromford and its available Shared Ownership homes, visit