AFP, Abacus offer up Christmas online safety tips

Online nasties can take the 'ho ho ho' out of Christmas

The Australian Federal Police (AFP), in conjunction with mutual banking sector industry body Abacus, have outlined their top tips for safe online shopping this Christmas.

Commenting on release of the tips, acting national manager of the AFP’s High Tech Crime Operations, commander Neil Gaughan, said, consumers need to ensure they protect their personal and financial information to prevent fraud and the disappointment of financial loss when goods are not received.

“Taking basic precautions to protect your personal information through the use of reputable antivirus products, updating your computer’s operating system and not clicking on links contained in unsolicited emails will reduce the chance of your information being compromised,” he said in a statement.

The AFP and Abacus's online security tips

  1. Always use web browser protection, install and run security software with real time live updates and update your operating system to ensure you are protected from vulnerabilities.
  2. Be sure to read your shopping website's refund and returns policies, privacy policy and legal notices in case you need to return the goods or have a problem
  3. Do not click on links in emails from online retailers or online greeting cards as they can be spam
  4. Make sure the site you are shopping on uses encryption and is up front about where and how your details are stored/
  5. Never give a date of birth or other personal identifiers. Never give out too many details as the more details provided the greater the risk of identity fraud happening. Online retailers only ever require basic contact details (eg name, billing address and contact number) and card details in order to process a credit/debit card payment.
  6. Always keep records of the transaction, including the product description, price and the receipt of payment.
  7. If you buy goods online from overseas ensure it is a reputable trader, uses encryption technology and can be contactable if problems arise.
  8. Check your debit and credit card statements regularly and ensure you refer immediately any unauthorised activity to your financial institution.

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