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Safer Internet Day: 10 February 2015

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We all like a bargain, but always remember the bargain you have found online might not be quite what you expected. All too often the image you see online may not be the product you think it is.

It is not unusual for a seller to upload an image of a genuine brand, at a price that seems too good to be true.  The item turns up and at best it is a poor quality copy or imitation.  But at worse it could be a potentially dangerous electrical item.

Today is Safer Internet day and this year’s slogan is:

Let’s create a better Internet together.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the day will see 100s of organisations from a 100 countries get involved.  Organisations such as the UK IPO will promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for both children and young people.

Safe shopping online: know the risks

Always think of the risks associated with buying goods online:

  • choose a reputable site
  • look for the trader’s full address, especially if the company is based outside the UK and not just a PO Box or email address
  • is the website secure – is the padlock device in the browser window frame
  • web address should start with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for secure
  • just because the web address has ‘UK’ in it doesn’t assume the company is based in the UK – check out the physical address and phone number
  • do not enter payment details if unsure
  • ensure online retailer is reputable by researching them
  • research online to see if any other customers have left comments about the company. Consider calling the company if any numbers are available

Helpful websites

There are a number of helpful websites designed to assist consumers. The following 2 I would recommend. They tell you which sites are legal for online content and where you can buy legitimate brands.

The Content Map

The Content Map has been created by industry representatives. It helps consumers know which sites are legal in respect to films, music, TV, eBooks, games and the sports sectors.


Brand-i was launched in 2011 to help consumers shop safely online. The Brand-i directory has been developed to help combat a rise in illegal websites selling counterfeit goods. By using the directory you will have the confidence to continue shopping for products you might not otherwise be sure about buying online.

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