Guide to Safe Online Shopping


Despite the many benefits of shopping online, many people still have some reluctance towards parting with their cash on the net, therefore we’ve compiled a general checklist and answers to the most common questions to help put your mind at rest.

Vendor Checklist

If the answer is no to any of these question then do not purchase from the retailer in question.



  1. Do they have a secure server?
  2. Are their contact details clearly visible on the site?
  3. Are their contact details authentic?
  4. Do you trust them?



How Do I Know I’m in a Secure Server?

Whilst in a secure server a closed padlock symbol should be visible somewhere along the bottom of your browser, you should also notice that the beginning of the site address will have changed from http:// to https:// again signifying that you are on a secure server.

It should be noted that a large majority of sites only make use of their secure server during the payment procedure.

Note about Actinic Sites

Please note: shopping sites powered by the Actinic software use a 128-bit encryption Java applet to encrypt credit card information this method is approved for merchants account holders at Barclays Bank, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Always email the retailer in question if you have any doubts.

Helpful Hints



  1. Always keep a copy of the order confirmation .
  2. Always read the small print.
  3. Contact the retailer if you have any questions or doubts.
  4. Never shop with a retailer you don’t trust, no matter how good their prices.



Useful sites:

Office of Fair Trading

Includes helpful online shopping advice.


Trust UK

Non-profit organisation endorsed by the Government to enable consumers to buy online with confidence


Trading Standards

Offers consumer protection information in the UK.


The Consumer Gateway

Offers sound advice for consumers.




© 2009 Zoink – UK Shopping Directory

You may freely distribute this article in electronic form providing this copyright notice and hyperlink is also retained.





Zoink is a brand new shopping directory aiming to index only the best online retailers in the UK.




Written by: Zoink

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