Online Fraud - Protecing yourself

Online fraud is something many people worry about when purchasing products or services over the internet, and so they should. While many shopping sites have measures to protect you as much as possible, there are also a few things you can do to help protect yourself:

  • When purchasing through a site that takes credit card payments, check it has an SSL certificate (the little padlock in the address bar on your browser, or at the base of your browser)
  • If the site is using a 3rd party payment processor that it redirects you to, make sure it is a well known payment site such as Paypal or 2CO. The advantage of using PayPal is that they offer buyer protection, and a great dispute resolution system, so you can feel much safer shopping using PayPal.
  • Make sure any passwords you use compromise of upper and lower case letters and numbers. Also avoid using dictionary words.
  • Avoid using a password you use for your internet banking, on an unknown shopping site.
  • You are using an updated browser. We recommend FireFox. If you use Internet Explorer, make sure you are using Version 7. (best not to try V8 at this stage)
  • If you receive an e-mail from your bank, PayPal, or any other financial institution asking you to 'click here' to update your details, or for any other request, do not click on the link in the e-mail. Institutions like this will not send you this kind of message. If you are unsure, simply type the name of the site that appears on the e-mail directly into your browser.
  • Always check your bank statements carefully, just to be sure no transactions appear that you have not authorised.

Making use of some of the measures above will ensure you are decreasing the changes of fraud, and making it safer for you to shop online.

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