Protection de la vie privée

Our security tips for your online Christmas shopping

Ordering your Christmas gifts online this year? It couldn’t be easier. We like shopping online in Belgium – a fact that is confirmed by Eurobarometer: 56% of Belgians buy products or services on the web. In fact this year, 7.35 billion euros have already been spent online in this country, with the 10 billion euro mark expected to be passed by the end of December.

But can you be totally confident of being secure when you make purchases on the Internet? Here are a few tips that will enable you to do your end-of-year shopping online with complete peace of mind.

1. Avoid making transactions on a public WiFi network or using a public computer. Fraudsters could easily intercept your payment details and connection data.

2. Only buy from stores that you can trust. Check things such as whether all the costs and charges are stated on your purchase – and whether you can easily ask a question or make a complaint. And don’t forget to check the conditions for making returns. Has the store made all sorts of spelling errors on the site, does the site have pop-up ads or a sloppy layout? If it does, then be on your guard. Follow the advice issued by the federal police so that you can recognise fake online stores.

3. When it comes to paying, check that the address bar features a green padlock and the address begins with HTTPS. This guarantees that your payment information will be encrypted when it is sent.

4. Select a secure method of payment, such as a credit card or PayPal. That way you will avoid the risk of losing all or part of your money. For more information about the most reliable and least trustworthy methods of payment, visit the European Consumer Centre website.

5. Do not allow stores to save your card details. Although you may think it’s convenient, you’re actually running a big risk. Online stores often have poor security and are a favourite target for computer hackers.

6. Check your account statements regularly. That way you can identify suspicious payments and block them before they go through.