If you’ve got children and teens who are old enough to start thinking about getting a little surprise for Mum or Dad, this time of year is a big opportunity for them to learn some independent money skills. And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just behind us, it is ever more evident that the best deals can be found online.
However, it is important that their online shopping experience is safe, and that they learn how to shop safely online. Take this opportunity to point out some key steps in ensuring that their money doesn’t go down the ‘chimney’ this Christmas:
1. Make sure the company they buy from is legitimate
Tell your kids to keep to retailers they’ve heard of initially. Sticking to the likes of Amazon or Argos will save any teary Christmas traumas when Uncle Jeff’s book never arrived. If they’re buying from individual sellers on Amazon and eBay- make sure you point out to them they can check the reviews, to see that products have arrived in good condition and on-time.
2. Make sure the site they’re on is secure
There are a few tell-tale signs that it will be really useful to point out to your children so they can look out for them themselves. The padlock symbol in the address bar is a good sign, as is a domain name starting with ‘https://’ and not ‘http://’ as the ‘s’ stands for secure. If there are none of these signs on the site, then it’s not a good idea to put any card details into this site and probably best to advise your children to look elsewhere.
3. Store online receipts somewhere safe
Teens email accounts are often a black hole full of Facebook notifications and Spotify suggestions. But illustrating the importance of keeping receipts to teens and children is very good practice. Even if they are using your email address when purchasing, it is important you talk them through why they need to keep this, just like a receipt in a high street shop.
4. If an offer looks too good to be true…
…It probably is. This is an important lesson for all children and teens to learn when it comes to shopping safely online. A good way to check is to google that particular deal and see what comments and links come up. Teaching this little trick to your children, will turn them into very savvy online-shoppers indeed!