Christmas Online Shopping Security Tips

Christmas Online Shopping Security Tips

Insurance affordability will be a growing challenge for a significant number of households, according to the Australian Actuaries Institute, with the Climate Index at the third highest index value ever in Spring 2022 due to extreme rainfall, especially in the south-eastern parts of the country.

Online shopping has become the go-to choice for convenience-loving Australians, offering a world of products and services at their fingertips. 

However, amid the convenience, cybercriminals who prey on unsuspecting online shoppers to steal their money and personal information, using tactics, including the creation of counterfeit retailer websites, peddling non-existent products, soliciting unnecessary personal and payment details, and deploying malicious software, known as "malware," onto your device. 

Being aware of the risks is key when shopping online. 

Once a cybercriminal gains access to your financial details and funds, the chances of recovering your money are slim to none. 

Online Shopping Safety Tips
Staying alert both before during and after making a purchase is key, here are some tips:

1. Shop Using Secure Devices
Ensure that the devices you use for online shopping are up-to-date with the latest security updates and are connected to trusted networks, not using public Wi-Fi.

2. Safeguard Your Payment Information and Accounts
Don’t save your payment information in online shopping accounts. If you choose to store payment details, activate multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of protection. If MFA isn't an option, establish a long, intricate, and unique passphrase as your account password to deter cybercriminals. Consider utilising a password manager to generate and securely store your passwords.

3. Only Use Trusted Sellers
Before making a purchase, research online shopping websites and stick to well-established, reputable businesses.

4. Recognise Warning Signs
Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true, payments that require direct bank deposits, and online stores with minimal information regarding delivery, returns, and privacy policies. These may indicate scams.

5. Use Secure Payment Methods
Avoid making payments through direct bank deposits, money transfers, or digital currencies like Bitcoin, as recovering money sent via these methods is rare in case of fraud. Opt for safer options like PayPal or credit cards. Consider setting up a separate card with a low credit limit exclusively for online shopping to minimise potential financial losses if your card details are compromised.

6. Don't Engage and Report Suspicious Contact
Stay vigilant for unusual phone calls, messages, or emails related to your online orders, as they might be attempts to solicit your personal or financial information. If you receive communication about an order you don't recall making, it likely a scam. Contact the store through their official website or direct contact details, if necessary. 

7. Beware of Fake Delivery Scams
Fake parcel delivery notifications with links are common scams. These are often just ways to infect your phone or commuter with malware, to steal your personal information. Don’t click on links to unexpected messages and report the email or text.  Contact the store through their official website or direct contact details, if necessary.

General Advice Warning: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement.

All information above has been provided by the author.


Insurance Advisernet, ABN 15 003 886 687, AFSL 240549

This article originally appeared on Insurance Advisernet and has been published here with permission.

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