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Safe online shopping and banking

The internet offers a quick and convenient way to do your shopping and manage your money from home, but you need to protect your financial information.

Make sure that you’re using a secure website before entering any personal details. There are ways to spot that a website is secure, such as:

  • the website address starts with ‘https’ - the ‘s’ stands for secure
  • the address bar is green, which is an additional sign that you’re using a safe website
  • there’s a padlock symbol in the browser window, but don’t be fooled if the padlock appears on the page itself
  • the security certificate (this appears when you click on the padlock) is current and registered to the correct address.

Be aware that a padlock symbol is not an absolute guarantee of safety, and it’s best to err on the side of caution if you ever have doubts.

To help protect you while shopping or banking online, follow these simple tips:

  • Beware pop-up messages that warn you about a website’s security certificate. They may direct you to a fake website that’s designed to get you to hand over your security details.
  • Use online retailers with a good reputation, as either high-street shops or established online stores.
  • Look for the company’s full contact details. A reputable company will always display this information on its website.
  • Cross-check information on the internet to see if anyone has experienced problems with the retailer.
  • Establish where the seller is based because consumer rights vary from country to country. To find out more information about buying from sellers based in other EU countries, you can visit the UK European Consumer Centre website.
  • Use one credit card for internet transactions only. If anything goes wrong, you can always cancel this card.
  • If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, and be cautious of anything offered in an unsolicited email.

Visit Get Safe Online for more information on how to protect yourself online.

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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