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5 Online shopping security tips to save you

19 September 2018

5 Online shopping security tips to save you

Shopping online is a great way to pick up a bargain or buy something unique that just isn’t available in your local stores. And with the big ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ sales just around the corner, there’ll be some even bigger bargains to be found online.

But along with the big savings, unlimited choice and added convenience, online shopping also brings the increased risk of having your credit card or bank details compromised. That great buy could quickly turn into a financial nightmare. So to help you shop more securely, here are our top five online shopping tips.

Tip 1 – Shop with a reputable retailer

Before you buy, check the reputation of the retailer by doing a simple Google search. Just add the word “reviews” to their name and see what other buyers have experienced. You can also try the ACCC's ScamWatch website, and do a business search on ASIC's website.

Tip 2 – Know your consumer rights

If your online purchase goes wrong, knowing your consumer rights may help you get goods exchanged or refunded. The MoneySmart website provides more detail about how Consumer Law applies to online purchases. It also pays to keep records of all your purchases and to check your statements and transactions via Great Southern Bank Online Banking to see that the amount charged matches what you paid.

Tip 3 – Only provide the info required

There are some basic pieces of information online retailers need to receive payment and deliver goods to buyers. Other personal details like your date of birth aren’t usually needed, so think twice if the retailer is asking you for additional personal information. If you can't proceed with the sale unless you provide information you don't want to, think about finding another supplier.

Tip 4 – Use strong passwords and a different one for each site

Online shopping sites often store your personal and payment information. Use a good, strong password to protect your account information. Of course, if you suffer from password overload, try a secure password manager like KeePass or LastPass.

Tip 5 – Debit and credit card safety

When shopping online it’s best to treat your credit and debit card details like you would when you’re shopping normally – be protective of them. Only enter your credit card details into secure website checkouts. Don't send them to anyone via email, text, or any other medium. The website should encrypt your credit and debit card information and may even destroy it after the payment has been made. This isn't the case for email and text.

So, if you’re planning on doing some online shopping during the big sales or in the leadup to Christmas, remember that taking a few simple precautions could save you from a financial headache.

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