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Army December 6, 2012
If you have a suggested topic
for this column, email ASIC at
THIS festive season many of
you might shop online for
gifts, decorations and other
goodies. Before you start
clicking, here are my tips on how to
make your online shopping experi-
ence as safe as possible.
If you know what you're buying, shop-
ping around and comparing prices
online can be a lot easier than going to
lots of different shops. So invest a little
time and compare prices from at least
three trusted websites. Saving a few
dollars on each item can really add up
over the summer holidays.
It also pays to compare online pric-
es with the prices in shops. You may
be able to take advantage of sales or
discounts in shops, as well as online.
Another way to make the most of
your money is to give gift vouchers, so
the recipient can get good value in the
Boxing Day sales.
Stay safe online
When shopping online look for
websites that have a secure payment
system. A secure payment site should
have a picture of a closed padlock on
the webpage. An open padlock means
a webpage is not secure.
Stay away from online stores that
do not offer secure transactions.
Look for an 's' in the URL after the
http to indicate it is secure (ie, https://).
Paying with a credit card can
also offer an extra level of protec-
tion, including the possible right to
a 'charge back' if you fall victim to
If this happens to you, talk to your
financial institution straight away.
Make sure your computer is secure
by keeping your operating system and
browsers current and using an up-to-
date security or antivirus program.
The fine print
Read the terms and conditions of your
purchase before you buy.
Check carefully for warranties,
refund and cancellation policies and
expected delivery dates.
It also pays to know the full cost of
your purchase, including shipping and
Keep a copy of any forms, emails,
documents or web pages you have
filled in, read or received.
They are a record of the sale and
will be useful if something goes wrong.
Always check your credit card
statement every month to make sure
your purchases are correctly recorded
and there are no charges for things you
did not buy.
An unauthorised transaction is one
made by someone else using your
account without your knowledge or
If you find an unauthorised transac-
tion, contact your bank, credit union
or building society as soon as possible
and make a complaint.
This is important both to fix up
the problem and to prevent any more
The Christmas break is a great time
to enjoy the company of family and
friends but you can still be smart about
For more information, go to ASIC's
MoneySmart website at
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