Safe online shopping tips

Before you purchase anything online, follow these essential tips to protect yourself.

Safeguard your personal details

A reputable business will never ask you for your bank account and password information. Never give these details out.

Secure your password

A secure password is very difficult for someone else to guess. Pick something that is not easily associated with you. To create a secure password, you should choose a combination of numbers, letters and symbols rather than just numbers such as a postcode or birth date. Never give out your passwords or record them where someone can find them.

Check the web page security

Only fill in credit card details on a secure web page. To know if a web page is secure look for the padlock symbol in the bottom right of the browser window, or at the top left in or near the address bar. A secure website begins with https://

Pay by credit card or PayPal

Paying by credit can provide extra protection when shopping online. If you have concerns, you can promptly contact your credit card provider and request a chargeback while the matter is investigated. You can also use a service like PayPal to pay for online transactions.

If a credit card provider or online payment service such as PayPal can’t resolve the problem, and the transaction was in Australia, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service on 1300 780 808. Scammers often ask for payments via an international money transfer service or other ways which offer less protection.

Print and keep transaction documents

If you’re shopping online from a computer or mobile device and have access to a printer, print a copy of your order before you send it. You should also print and retain any acknowledgement email with information about your order.

You might need to refer to these records later if there is a problem.

Monitor children’s access to shopping sites

Monitoring children's use of computers and mobile devices and their access to shopping sites can help you avoid bill shock due to unexpected purchases by children.

Check your statement

Check your credit card statement every month to make sure you’ve been charged correctly for purchases. If there is any charge that looks suspicious, contact your credit card provider immediately and request a chargeback while they look into it.

Keep your computer or mobile device secure

Make sure the operating system, browser and antivirus software on your computer or mobile device are always kept up-to-date. A computer or mobile device that is not secure, is vulnerable to malicious software that could be installed without your knowledge and reveal your bank account or credit card details and password to a hacker. Be aware of this danger, and make sure password remembering is deactivated if you provide private information such as credit card details or passwords when using a publicly accessible computer or mobile device.

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