Prefer to shop from your PC, tablet or smartphone? Here are 7 quick & easy tips for staying safe online and making the most of your shopping budget this Christmas.
1. Protect your PC
Before you start shopping, make sure you’ve taken steps to protect your PC from websites that have potentially been compromised. Installing a personal firewall and anti-virus software will go a long way towards keeping you safe online – and remember to keep all your software up to date for maximum security.
2. Protect your data
Ensure the data you provide online is encrypted by using a secure site. Usually this will appear as a URL pre-fixed with https:// (the ‘S’ being the difference to a normal exchange of data) and the padlock sign appears next to the favicon (an icon that appears in your address bar, next to the website’s address).
3. Protect your purchases
If you’re making a first time purchase from a website you’ve not dealt with before then consider doing some research online to see if there are site reviews of the seller. Knowing you’re dealing with a reputable seller can help give you additional peace of mind.
4. Be aware of your budget… and your balance
Write a list of who you need to buy for and decide on a budget to help you resist temptation to overspend. If you have a smartphone or tablet, then your banking app could make it easier to keep an eye on your balance and help you manage your money on the go.
5. Compare prices
One of the benefits of shopping online is how quick and easy to compare prices. If you’ve found something you like, take a moment to find out where else it’s for sale and how the price measures up. And remember to factor in things like shipping costs which can all add up.
6. Check the refund policy
Buying the perfect present can be tricky especially if there is a lot of guesswork involved, so bear in mind that you might need to return or exchange if it’s not quite right. Check the store policy and be aware of your statutory rights (check out the ACCC’s website for more details) before you part with your cash.
7. Make a note of your transaction
Consider taking a screenshot of your purchase or send yourself an email noting the time and details of your transaction. This can help you match up your purchases with your banking transaction history later on, so you can make sure there are no discrepancies.
Want to find out more about online security? Take a look at these additional tips for staying safe online.
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