Four safety tips for online shopping during the holidays
With the holiday season fast approaching, it is important that consumers safeguard their personal information when shopping online.
It is predicted that Australians will spend a record of $4 billion in online shopping leading up to Christmas. During this period, personal data like addresses and credit card details are sent to shopping websites for easy transaction. This creates a big risk of having your personal data breached and stolen by hackers.
So if you plan on going online shopping this holiday, it is recommended that you follow these tips from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to protect your data online:
Value your personal information – Your personal information is valuable and should be protected. It is best to use a “guest” profile to complete your purchase instead of signing up for a loyalty program or creating an online account. You can also leave data fields blank to limit the amount of personal information a site collects and stores.
Check who you are buying from – Play it safe by shopping from reputable brands and cross-checking information. Don’t forget to read credible reviews from other customers and check for information on warranties, refunds and complaints handling before making a purchase. If it looks suspicious, don’t risk it.
Remember the online security basics – Malicious and criminal attacks are the leading cause of data breaches involving personal information. You can protect yourself from common cyber incidents by thinking before you click on links in emails and text messages, using strong and unique passwords or passphrases, and only shopping with secure websites – look for a URL starting with ‘HTTPS’ and a closed padlock symbol.