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 communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your personal or individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to be a constitute personal advice. We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. This document is also not a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or a policy wording, nor is it a summary of a particular products features or terms of any insurance product. If you are interested in discussing this information or acquiring an insurance product, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

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