Being safe when shopping online

Shopping online can be convenient, but it's essential to be aware of the security risks of online shopping.

  • Make sure you're at your intended destination

    • Your browser’s address bar can help you identify a fraudulent website. Hackers will often build fake websites, known as "phishing" sites, to solicit personal information such as your password or banking details. Phishing sites will masquerade as a legitimate business (such as the University) so they appear more convincing. 
    • Check that the website is secure. You can do this by confirming that there is a padlock in the browser's address bar, and the website address starts with 'https'. Remember, the 's' in 'https' signifies that a website is secure and information is encrypted. 
  • Install security software and update it regularly

    • Security software such as antivirus, anti-spyware or personal firewall will help protect your computer from viruses, spyware and hackers. You can choose to either install these products separately, or use an all-in-one suite that bundles them together. 
    • Enable your software firewall 
    • Install antivirus software 
  • Turn on automatic updates to protect your computer from hackers

    • Software companies regularly issue free updates to fix security problems in their software. These fixes are called patches and should be applied regularly to prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer. 
    • Most operating systems and application software can be configured to update automatically. Check your program settings for a ‘check for updates’ option. 
    • Microsoft is no longer providing support or patches for Windows 7. This can leave your computer vulnerable to hackers as security problems are no longer being fixed. If you are using Windows 7, we strongly recommend that you upgrade your personal computer to Windows 10.