How to Stay Safe When Shopping Online for Christmas Gifts

by : Richard Adams

Increasingly we're buying as many of our Christmas gifts online as possible. This makes perfect sense of course because it saves the hassles of busy shops, carrying armfulls of presents, the difficulties of comparing prices and so on.

However this is the last time of year you want to have any problems with your credit card details getting "borrowed" or your gifts not getting to you in time so in this article we're going to take a look at a few ways in which you can ensure you stay safe online while shopping this Christmas.

1) Use Secure Websites

Telling whether an order page is reasonably easy. In Internet Explorer look for a small yellow padlock image showing at the bottom of your browser. If you can see it then the page you are on is safe. Really only yhr order form needs this level of encryption so don't worry if it's absent from a page that displays potential gifts you're interested in, but when it comes to entering your personal details, make sure the padlock is on display or go elsewhere.

2) Check Delivery Times

Different sites offer difderent delivery times. Many won't guarantee delivery before Christmas if you order a few weeks before whike others will allow Christmas ording right up until the last date for posting before Christmas so double-checl the fine print before making an order if you're ordering late in the season.

3) Get Started Early

One of the biggest stresses in Christmas gift shopping is leaving it all till the last minute. I generally have mine finished before the end of November because so many retailers - both online and off - either sell out of key lines long before Christmas, or are so overun with orders that mistakes do happen from time to time.

Therefore, consider getting started early, even if you put some of the Christmas gifts on a credit card initially and pay them off during November and December.

4) Know Your Budget

It's easy to get sucked into spending more than you can afford and of course one of the real benefits of shopping online is being able to compare prices but set a budget on a per person basis *before* you go looking so that you don't end up getting 5 different things for the same person by mistake. When you select something, knock that value off their "budget" and carry on.

5) Use Your Favourites

It's easy to get lost online when you're trawling the search engines looking for ideal Christmas gifts. So set up a folder in your Favourites section of your internet browser and use that to save individual pages and sites that look of interest.

You can even change the description from the default to something that will mean more to you in a week or two. For example change "Best Christmas Gifts" to "Idea for John's Christmas gift" or similar.