Shop safe online

Protect your confidential information when shopping online

Online shopping is an enjoyable and easy way to purchase goods and services. An increasing number of online and traditional businesses now offer internet shopping services ranging from airline reservations to grocery shopping. But, with the wide choice of online shops available, how do you know who you can trust?

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take for a safe online shopping experience. Read our brief guide and have fun shopping online.

Tips for safe online shopping

  • Only shop with sites you trust
    This trust can be gained either by possessing prior knowledge of the vendor and its reputation or by shopping with sites that possess a "security seal" from a reputable accreditation company

  • Only use secure web browsers
    It is recommended that shoppers only use a web browser that supports security technology such as data encryption (the most common is Secure Socket Layers (SSL). This will make it more difficult for your order and payment details to be read by someone other than the online vendor.

  • Only enter your credit card details on a secure encrypted webpage
    A secure encrypted webpage means an area or page in a website where even if the data entered there was to be intercepted by an unauthorised party, they would be unable to read it as it would appear to them in an unintelligible format.

  • Avoid allowing websites to store your credit card details
    Many websites will offer to store your credit card details in a database of personal profiles. Although this feature may increase the ease by which you can shop on their site (i.e. you only have to enter your credit card details the first time you shop with them), there may be security implications.

  • Always get the final price including tax and shipping costs
    Never submit a payment until you have a final price for the goods or service which includes tax and shipping costs. Some online shops will add extra costs over and above the displayed price (for example shipping costs or tax) which may not always be clear.

  • Read the vendor's privacy policy
    Most online shopping sites now provide a privacy policy stipulating whether or not they will share your personal information with other parties. If a site intends to share your personal information, then this information may become readily available in a short period of time.

  • Keep a receipt
    Most online shops provide an order confirmation that summarises the details of your order after you have submitted payment. It is recommended that you treat this confirmation as a receipt and print and store a copy until you have received your product or service.