Online shopping has boomed in recent years, with many preferring the ease and comfort of ordering online and awaiting delivery while staying cosy at home. The run up to Christmas forms the busiest time of the year for e-commerce, so this week we tell you our top tips for Christmas shopping online.

Firstly, try to use a credit card to make purchases rather than a debit card. The credit card company is “jointly and severally” liable with the retailer if something goes wrong, so you are covered for anything costing between £100 and £30,000. If the company you are buying from goes bust or doesn’t deliver, you can get your money back.

If possible, it is also good to use credit cards that offer an extended warranty, as some will protect your items against theft or damage.

Check out the company you are buying from, making sure they have a geographical address and a landline telephone number, and note these down. Make sure the website is secure, with the URL starting with ‘https’ as apposed to ‘http’. You also need to check the terms and conditions relating to payment, delivery and cancellation rights to avoid any nasty surprises.

Make sure you have up to date virus protection on your computer, and that you are using the latest version of your operating system and web browser. This will all help protect you from online hacker attacks.