Research conducted by the Office of National Statistics suggests that at least 75% of the UK population utilises online shopping. As smartphones overtake laptops as our preferred method of browsing, it’s important to stay safe when searching for a bargain. With that in mind, VivaStreet has compiled five handy tips to ensure you don’t become a victim when shopping via your mobile.
1. Use a credit card or online payment provider
Debit cards typically have lower protection against fraud when compared to credit cards. If you want to avoid those nasty APR fees, simply use an online payment service, such as PayPal.
2. Screenshot your payment confirmation
Most smartphones offer an in-built screen capture facility – try to get into the habit of taking screen grabs of your payment confirmations for your own records, should you need to dispute a transaction or prove a transaction took place.
3. Don’t shop via public Wi-Fi
If you must shop on the move, switch to mobile data – public hotspots are easier for unscrupulous fraudsters to access sensitive account data from your device. If you insist on using public Wi-Fi, download an app which allows you to connect via a VPN (virtual private network).
4. Use common sense
When shopping on a PC or laptop, look for SSL and TSL security indicators (usually depicted as a small padlock). This principle should also be applied when you’re going to buy online. If the URL of a site begins with https:// it’s a good indicator that it is safe. If you get a bad feeling about a website, or a deal seems too good to be true, you should be patient and do your research before committing to a purchase.
5. Beware of prying eyes
This is perhaps the simplest smartphone fraud technique – the fraudster looks over your shoulder to glance at your card details. Some fraudsters may even covertly take a photo of your details. It’s uncommon, but it does happen, which is why we’ve included it in these mobile safety tips – be vigilant!