Computer screen showing a long sleeve top item and cursor hovering an Add to Bag buttonIt’s great that we can buy goods anywhere at the touch of button. However, it means we need to be aware of the risks of sharing information online.

Top tips

Here are our tips for safe online shopping.

Only shop at secure websites

A secure website will say “https” or have a padlock symbol at the start of the web address. These websites encrypt (scramble) the information being transferred from your computer to another. This is good for protecting your personal information.

Research the company before buying

Trustworthy companies should have contact details such as their address and phone number. If you are unsure how genuine a business is, call them and ask questions.

Read the purchase policies

Check the terms and conditions including:

  • delivery costs
  • return policies
  • warranty
  • complaints processes
  • how to cancel an order.

Read the privacy policy to find out how the company will use any personal information you give them.

Use a safe way of paying

Regularly check your credit card statements. Contact your bank or financial institution straight away if you notice something out of the ordinary. Think about using a separate credit card with a low limit just for buying things online.

Think about what personal information you share

Businesses may sometimes ask you for personal information that isn’t needed to complete a transaction. Never share any personal information by email – it isn’t secure.

Save a copy of the transaction information

Keep a record of all transaction information, including:

  • the name of the website
  • your order confirmation or invoice
  • any communication you have with the business.

Be wary of heavily discounted goods or services

Don’t be fooled by heavily discounted goods or cheap deals on holidays and airfares. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.