Online shopping has completely changed the way we shop. It allows you to browse thousands of products and make purchases at any time from nearly any location. However, along with the ease of internet shopping comes risk.
Before pressing ‘add to cart’ and buying online, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Can I trust the website?
Most major retailers and countless smaller ones now have reliable websites where you can view their range, purchase and arrange shipping straight to your door. For the most part, these websites are safe. However, if you haven’t used the website before you should exercise caution. Many places that claim to be owned and operated in Australia might actually be based offshore and shipping in counterfeit products. Check who owns the domain, if the name sounds questionable and the location is hard to pinpoint then you may not be able to trust it.
How should I pay?
Safe online shopping is dependent on secure payment options. Always pay using a secure payment page. A secure page will have a digital certificate or a SSL secured icon – look for a padlock and green text or a green box (depending on your internet browser) in the URL bar. Internet retailers will generally let you pay with PayPal, BPAY or credit card. PayPal and BPAY both facilitate secure electronic transfers, but always check that the logo looks right. A phony logo may be an indicator of a dodgy website.
How do I protect myself?
Whenever you make a purchase, it’s a good idea to keep all the emails and documentation you might have from the sale. Take a screenshot of the confirmation page when you pay. It’s the same as keeping a receipt.
If you ordered something weeks ago but it never arrived or you won an auction only to have the seller disappear, you may have lost your money. If all else fails, at least report them to the government website SCAMwatch, so others won’t fall into the same trap.
Keep your security software up to date to protect you in case you accidentally come across an unsafe website.
We understand that you shop in many different ways. To talk about safe ways to transact, call us on 1300 654 822.