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Online Shopping Tips

Shopping online can offer greater convenience, greater selection and in some cases better prices. Just like shopping in a store, or over the phone, there are some basic rules that we suggest you follow when you shop online to ensure the best possible shopping experience.

Register for Verified by Visa

Verified by Visa is a new 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. Contact your Visa card issuer now to arrange for your security token. 
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

Use a secure browser - look for an "s" after the "http" in the web page address or URL.

If you are using a static password, keep it secret

If you are using a secret password, some online stores require you to register a user name and password before buying an item. Just as you keep your ATM code secret, keep your password secret from outside parties. When shopping with Verified by Visa, 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 - do not provide 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 try "testing out" stolen accounts by buying inexpensive items rather than large ones. 
Immediately investigate suspicious activity to prevent any possible additional fraud before it occurs. 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

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Related Links

  • My Money Skills
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  • Email Fraud
    Learn how you can stay safe and minimize your exposure to identity theft and phishing scams.
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