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How to stay safe while shopping online

Tackle hackers, phishers and other no-good cybermerchants

5. Shopping on public computers or over public networks is dangerous. There could be keylogging software or hardware installed on the PC itself; someone might even be using packet-sniffing software to spy on you. Avoid logging into financially sensitive user accounts in public. And never, ever enter your credit-card details.

Step 5

Step 5

6. URLs can be enough to warn you off a site. If it starts with numbers, is very long or makes extensive use of unusual characters such as ‘%’, avoid it. A web browser will ignore anything written to the left of an @ sign when placed in a URL and direct you somewhere entirely different.

Step 6

Step 6

7. Legitimate shopping sites will encrypt your data before passing it across the internet. When you enter payment mode, check that the site’s URL begins https://. If it doesn’t, refuse to hand over credit-card information. A closed padlock or key should also appear on the taskbar at checkout.

Step 7

Step 7

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