Shopping online safely
Online shopping is an easy, convenient and often cost-effective way to shop these days. However, it's important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to safeguard your personal and financial information to prevent fraud.
Taking basic precautions to protect your personal information through the use of reputable anti-virus products, updating your computer's operating system and not clicking on links contained in unsolicited emails will reduce the chance of your information being compromised.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is committed to helping inform Australians on how to maximise the benefits of online shopping and minimise the risks and has released some easy tips to follow to ensure your shopping experience is memorable for all the right reasons.
Tips to safe online shopping
- Always use web browser protection, install and run security software with real-time live updates and update your operating system to ensure you are protected from vulnerabilities;
- Do not click on links in emails from online retailers or online greeting cards as they can be spam;
- Make sure the site you are shopping on is using encryption and is up front about where and how your details are stored;
- Never give a date of birth or other personal identifiers. Never give out too many details as the more details provided the greater the risk of identity fraud happening. Online retailers only ever require basic contact details (e.g. name, billing address and contact number) and card details in order to process a credit/debit card payment;
- Always keep records of the transaction, including the product description, price and the receipt of payment;
- If you purchase goods online from overseas ensure it is a reputable trader, uses encryption technology and can be contactable if problems arise;
- Check your debit and credit card statements regularly and ensure you refer immediately any unauthorised activity to your bank.