I’m a huge fan of online shopping.

It saves time, wear and tear on the car, shoes, nerves and children’s patience. You can choose from a wider range of products online than you could hope to search out in a lifetime of on-foot shopping. Believe it or not, there are reasons why it’s actually safer shopping online with your credit card than in a physical store with it. And the cherry on top – you can often save considerable money shopping online.Staying Safe Online

Would you like those benefits? But you’re scared stiff of putting your credit card details in the little box on the computer screen – either due to a past bad experience or a horrible story you’ve heard?

You need not feel left out any longer with :

My 7 Top Tips for S.O.S. (Safe Online Shopping)

  1. Try to stick to the ‘big’ name stores. The websites of major, well-known stores like Target, BigW, Officeworks or Dick Smith are frequented by many. They have a history, a reputation, and a customer service department.
  2. For other online stores – look for a physical street/business address and phone number – are they contactable?
  3. You want to see that the website address has https at the beginning, not just http, and also a “closed padlock” icon present, meaning the website has particular measures in place to prevent your entered information from being stolen.
  4. Always check the transactions on your bank statement carefully and if there’s anything you don’t believe you initiated, contact your bank.
  5. Avoid using public computers (at libraries or internet cafes) to do your internet banking or online shopping and ensure your own computer is installed with good software that protects from viruses and unwanted programs and make sure it is kept up-to-date.
  6. Use a credit card with a limit, as opposed to a debit card that is associated with an account containing your savings…
  7. Some banks are now introducing credit cards solely for the purpose of online shopping – in order to isolate these purchases from your other bank accounts, loans and savings.

I claim to have ‘never been burned’ and promote online shopping to one and all, but I am also aware that cybercrime (identity theft, hacking) is growing at a hellish pace and this is no time to be complacent.

In the interests of safe online shopping, I‘m taking on Top Tip #7 myself.