As the Christmas holidays creep closer, parents the world over start to wonder what to treat their kids to this year. The internet is full of Christmas gift ideas, you can pretty much find anything you could ever want if you know the right place to look. This vast selection, the easy ability to compare cost between sites and the reduced time it takes to shop means that purchasing Christmas gifts online often wins out over the high street.

As with anything, despite the benefits, there are risks associated with online shopping. Giving your card details over unsecured web pages or an unsecured Wi-Fi link can result in fraudsters gaining access to your bank account details, which in turn can lead to theft. However, with care and a little know how, you can keep yourself safe from the risks of online shopping and enjoy the benefits of having every shop imaginable at your fingertips.

A key element to safely internet shopping is knowing the sites you are buying from. Big well known brands usually have the relevant safety measures in place to keep your card details protected. You can also be sure when shopping from a reputable site, that you will receive the goods or services you have placed an order for.

Paying by credit card or via Paypal offers greater protection than paying by debit card. For example, if you buy something on your credit card from a company which then folds, you can usually claim back the money spent. With a debit card you have no such protection. Paypal is also a more protected way of paying for a product online as your account details are kept private from the online merchant.

Before you enter your card details into a website you should ensure there is a padlock symbol in the browser window frame which shows when you log in or register. If the padlock is showing on the page itself then that could be a sign of a fraudulent site. It is also important to check that the website address begins ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for secure. Finally, making sure that you have an effective and up-to-date antivirus on your device will help keep your online world significantly safer.