Keep your family safe when shopping online
25 March 2022
This article is part of the Suncorp ESSI Money Family Challenge series, in partnership with the Financial Basics Foundation, an independent charity working to educate young people to better understand money and finances.
If you or your family are spending money online, chances are you’ll want to find ways to keep that money safe and secure. Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated so it’s a good time to teach your kids and family the things they need to be aware of. It all starts by taking control of your online spending.
Tips for buying online safely
You can help your family stay safe when online shopping by teaching them how to:
- Spot and use safe websites – Remind your family to always look at the URL (website address) of a website, be wary of ulta-low discounts or sales, and check spelling/grammar and imagery on the site. Teach them to explore a website a bit to go beyond the page they land on. They may discover less sophisticated webpages if the website is fraudulent.
- Recognise what accurate product information looks like – This includes ultra-low pricing that seems too good to be true, missing information about the product, poor or no images of the product, and poor customer reviews.
- Calculate total costs (including shipping or delivery, or any hidden costs) – this will help stop your family from becoming complacent when they spend online.
- Avoid impulse purchases and stick to a budget – if your kids are over 18 and are spending online, teach them to set a monthly budget for online purchases.
Staying safe online can help protect you and your loved ones’ identity and personal information from risks like theft. The next time you’re on your device, keep these simple online security tips in mind:
Use strong passwords, such as those generated by and stored in a keychain, or two-factor authentication.
Install virus protection software on your devices.
Only enter personal information, like credit card details, into secure websites. A website is secure when a lock icon displays in your browser to the left of the URL.
If an organisation asks you to share personal information via email, be wary that it may be a scam. Suncorp, for example, will never ask you to do this via an email. For up-to-date info about current scams, or to report a scam, visit scamwatch.gov.au.
Don’t share personal information like your address or phone number on social media and remember to configure your privacy settings so you know who gets to see what you post.
Suncorp has partnered with McAfee to offer our Suncorp Bank customers a free three-months of its anti-virus software for personal use. To find out more and see the terms and conditions, visit: suncorp.com.au/banking/security/antivirus-software.
How to avoid getting scammed online
Online shopping safety has never been more important as scammers become more sophisticated in their methods. Print off these tips and stick them next to your computer to ensure online shopping safety as a family:
- Type the URL of your trusted online shopping site into the browser.
- Be wary of clicking through to online sales via social media. These can be fraudulent websites that promise discounts or sales that seem too good to be true.
- Check the URL of a website if you have clicked through to it via any paid advertisement.
- Check your bank records regularly. Look out for any irregular withdrawals and contact your bank if you suspect you did not make a purchase.
- Reconsider storing your credit card details with an online shopping website.
- Check that your transaction is secure. A secure online transaction URL will start with ‘https’ and have a closed padlock in the address field. This indicates the transaction is encrypted against hacking.
- Be wary of any emails from both online shopping sites you don’t recognise as well as those you’ve used before. If the email comes from a brand or site you have shopped with before, compare that email address with an email you have previously received from the sender. Fraudulent emails are increasingly sophisticated, but you may still see spelling mistakes or errors in formatting.
- Avoid shopping on a public wi-fi network.
- Never use the same password for online shopping accounts as your bank account.
With the Suncorp App, you can access your banking securely and safely as well as manage your finances, access insights and manage any insurance you have all in the one place.
- Online scams to be aware of and how to stay safe online
- Why online privacy is important
- 7 technology rules for your household
The Financial Basics Foundation is a non-for-profit charity focused on educating young people in money and personal finances. Their vision is, “that all young Australians are financially capable and can manage their finances now and into the future.” For more information visit financialbasics.org.au
This is general information only, current as at 20 November 2017 and is not legal or financial advice, nor is it intended to be legal advice or financial advice. It is not a recommendation or advice in relation to the Suncorp Group or any product or service offered by any company or entity in the Suncorp Group and does not take into account a person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.