Online shopping tips

Register for Verified by Visa
Verified by Visa is a service that allows you to use a security token* to protect your Visa card when you shop online, giving you added reassurance that only you can use your Visa card.  Some issuers may already have their cards pre-registered for Verified by Visa. Please check with your card issuer for details.

*may not be a physical token, issuer implementation may vary.

Use a secure web browser
Look for an "s" after the "http" in the web page address or URL of the online store you are visiting.

If you are using a static password, keep it secret
Some online stores require you to register a user name and password before making a purchase. Just as you keep your ATM code secret, keep your Verified by Visa password secret.

Use the internet to compare between shops before buying online
Compare products and prices before you buy - click around to find your item at the best price.

Protect your card details
Only give your Visa card details when making purchases.  Never reveal them for any other reason.

Check delivery and return policies
Before completing an online transaction, read the delivery and return policies on the online store's home page. Find out if you can return items and who bears the cost.

Never send payment information via email
Information that travels over the internet (such as email) is not fully protected from being read by outside parties. Most reputable merchant sites use encryption technologies that will protect your private data from being accessed by others as you conduct an online transaction.

Keep a record of your transactions
Just as you save store receipts, you should keep records of your online purchases. Back up your transaction by saving and/or printing the order confirmation.

Review your monthly account statement thoroughly
Monitor your monthly statements, especially after an overseas trip. Check all transactions, even the small ones, because criminals test out stolen accounts by buying inexpensive items rather than large ones.

Immediately report suspicious activity to prevent any possible additional fraud from occurring. Promptly notify your financial institution of any suspicious email activities.

Only open and respond to emails that pass some basic tests*

  • Is the email from somebody you know?
  • Have you received emails from this sender before?
  • Were you expecting email with an attachment from this sender?
  • Does email from this sender with the contents described in the subject line and the name of the attachment make sense?
  • Does this email contain a virus?

* From "Common Sense Guide for Home and Individual Users", Internet Security Alliance.

More information available from www.cert.org.