Stay safe when you shop online


Financial Crime

Show of hands: who loves a bit of online shopping? 🙋‍♀️ We’d be surprised to see many hands down, as 87% of us Brits shop from our device of choice rather than take a trip out. And our love of online shopping shows no signs of slowing down, particularly since the start of the pandemic. While spending your money online is quick and easy, it doesn’t come without its risks. But there are extra steps you (and we) can take to make sure you shop safely and protect your personal details 🔒

What are the risks of online shopping?

Some of us know all too well that scammers are always lurking online, waiting to pounce on your money or your bank details. Take a closer look at just a few ways they try to catch you out.

💻 Phishing emails and fake websites

Scammers send fake emails or set up fake websites pretending to be trusted companies that look dangerously like the real thing. They will often ask you to click a link to provide your personal details. A reputable company will never ask you for sensitive information! So always Take 5 and have a good look at the email. You’re likely to spot some classic signs that it’s fake, like a misspelt email address, grammar or general spelling mistakes and a sense of urgency to hand over the information they want.

❌ Unsafe WiFi connection

Sometimes, scammers don’t need to go to the effort of setting up fake websites or emails. The easiest way for them to grab your details is if you’re using a WiFi connection that isn’t safe. If that’s the case, they can access your private information without even having to try to communicate with you. Scary isn’t it! Read on to find out how to keep your connection safe.

😤 Identity theft

If a scammer does manage to get their hands on your card details, then you could fall victim to identity theft and your card may be used to make a lot of online purchases. Scammers are getting cleverer too, making their online activity mirror that of a ‘normal’ person. So they’ll hang around on a website for a while, add a few things to their basket, remove a few things and then head to the checkout to wait for payment.

How can I make secure payments?

We can’t say that you won’t ever fall victim to a scam. But there are steps you can take to make it much harder for fraudsters to target you. Here’s how you can shop safer online.

✔️ Use a secure WiFi connection

Always try to do any online shopping in your own home, using your own WiFi network. If you’re shopping on the go and connect to public WiFi, it gives scammers a much better opportunity to steal your details. Make sure your home network has a password set up too.

✔️ Hard to guess passwords

So, your WiFi connection is solid. But your password is 123456 🤦 That’s a scammer’s dream! It’s so important to make sure your passwords are really hard to guess. A mix of upper and lower-case letters, random numbers and pretty lengthy words is always a good idea. If you have quite a few different passwords and tend to forget them, it might be worth setting up a password manager to give you a helping hand.

✔️ Pay using trusted methods

If a website doesn’t give you the option to pay using a credit card, debit card or PayPal, then it’s a major red flag. No safe payment method? Get off the site straight away. A trusted company would never ask you to send money directly to them through a bank transfer. Head elsewhere to buy what you’re looking for and always make sure you can get it using a trusted payment option.

✔️ Use Touch and Face ID

Now, this is a biggie! One of the best, nope, scratch that. THE best way to protect yourself when making online payments is to set up Touch and Face ID on your banking app 📱 Why? Because it’s pretty much impossible for scammers to copy your fingerprint or your face! If you set it up, you’re the only person who can approve online payments. We don’t know about you, but that gives us a lot more peace of mind when it comes to staying safe online.

How thinkmoney helps you stay safe

Keeping you and your money safe is always our number one priority. So we take every step we can to make sure you can shop and pay online without any worries. But we’re not the only ones. New regulations mean that all banking providers have to request extra security steps from customers before they make online payments.

If you’re already a thinkmoney app lover, then you’ll be totally used to this. But if you’re not familiar, let us fill you in. From now on, you can only approve online payments on the app through Touch or Face ID or by entering a passcode. Here’s how it works:

  • Enter your card details at checkout
  • Prompted to open the thinkmoney app
  • Open your app and approve the payment

Easy 👊 By opting in for these security steps, we know that it’s you who’s making the payment and you can shop with one less worry about your details being stolen.

So if you’re a thinkmoney customer and you don’t have the app yet, you’re really going to need it. Without it, you won’t be able to approve or make any online payments and we would hate for that to happen.

Download the app today by clicking here.

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