Look for the ‘s’ in ‘https’
Secure websites will have an ‘s’ for security after ‘http’. You’ll also know a site is secure if you can see an icon for a locked padlock in the browser – either on the address bar or in the bottom right corner.
Use current virus protection software
Always ensure you have the most up-to-date version of virus protection software on your computer to help prevent fraudsters getting in.
You could also use a URL scanning tool on your browser. This alerts you before you click on links leading to infected web pages.
Keep your personal information private
Consider creating a separate email account just for shopping, with its own unique password. This dedicated shopping email account should not be affiliated with your personal, everyday email account.
Print or file your receipts
Keep records of your online shopping – print confirmation pages and email confirmations so if you ever have to contest a purchase, you’ve got the details handy.
Use common sense
Make sure you use reasonable judgment when buying online. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you haven’t shopped with a brand before, do some research before you share your personal details with them. Google their reputation and seek out customer reviews. Look for a physical address and contact phone number, too.
Check the return policy
Make sure you understand the refund and return policies of any online retailer you’re planning to buy from, especially if they are overseas – just in case something were to go wrong.
Beware of free trials
Be cautious of sites offering free trials where personal information and payment details (such as card information) must be provided upfront. Before you provide any details, read the terms and conditions – which should state how the merchant will use your information. Only provide your information if you’re comfortable with their terms.