Internet Security Advice

More and more of us are doing business over the internet

Retailers in particular such as Harvey Norman have been extremely outspoken about the drop in sales as a result of overseas websites offering lower priced products to the Australian market.

This is great in essence as it means lower prices on goods to all, with the acceptance of the internet booming it also allows more home grown businesses to establish an online component to their business.

One issue however with many of the online businesses is in relation to the security of payments and the theft of personal details from credit cards and the like. It is vital that if you are establishing an on-line business or using it to purchase goods that you ensure that you have strong security measures in place and that you can verify the security of the payment method you use to pay for goods.

6 security tips for shopping online

Secure your computer

Help protect your online transactions by using firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware software.

Encrypt your wireless connection at home. Keep all software (including your web browser) current with automatic updates.

Create strong passwords

Strong passwords are easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. They are at least 14 characters long (the longer the password, the better) and include numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. For more information, see Learn how to create strong passwords. If you already have a password in mind, check your password strength.)

  • Keep passwords and Pins (Personal Identification Numbers) secret. Do not share them in email, instant messages, or over the phone.
  • Use unique passwords for bank accounts and other important financial information. Avoid using the same password everywhere. If someone steals that password, all the information that the password protects is at risk.

Beware of links from unknown sites

Links in email messages, text messages, instant messages, or popup ads can take you to websites that look legitimate but are not. To visit websites, type the address yourself or use your own bookmark or favourite.

Look for signs that your information is safe

Before you enter sensitive data on a web page, ensure that:

The site uses encryption, a security measure that helps protect your data as it traverses the Internet. Signs of encryption include a web address with https (‘s’ stands for secure) and a closed padlock beside it. (The lock might also be in the lower right corner of the window.)

l You are at the correct website – for example, at your bank’s site, not a fake one. If you are using Internet

Explorer, one sign of trustworthiness is a green address bar. If you allow your mouse pointer to hover over the address your browser should state if the site is protected and by whom.

Save financial transactions for your home computer

l Never pay bills, bank, shop, or do other financial business on a public or shared computer or on devices such as laptops or mobile phones that are on public wireless networks. The security is unreliable.

Use common sense

To protect yourself against fraud, watch out for scams. For example, be wary of deals that sound too good to be true, alerts from your “bank” that your account will be closed unless you take some immediate action, notices that you have won a lottery, or a refusal to meet in person for a local transaction.

Typically this kind of message, whether sent by computer or phone, is designed to entice you to visit a phony website where criminals collect your financial data.

 Some useful websites

It’s not all negative, there is an amazing number of websites that provide tremendous information that we can use in business or to aid our shopping experience. A few worth checking out:

  • Car Sales – Thinking of buying or selling a car, this website is a great tool to value the car you have or the car you are looking at.
  • Seek –  Looking for a job, or getting an idea of what salaries are for various roles in your organisation should be, this website is a great tool.
  • Credit Card Compare – With interest rates so high on credit cards, this website is an excellent tool to compare just what different banks offer, in comparison to any credit cards you now have.
  • iSelect – The health insurance comparator that ‘I Select’ offer is an excellent tool to compare policies and premiums. Health insurance premiums for those that qualify has tax advantages. Gaining the tax advantage and getting the right insurance cover at the right price can be improved by using this site.
  • ASX – Looking for the latest prices of ASX shares, this website is free, and offers all information on all Australian listed companies.
  • Chinese Astrology – To learn more about our previous subject matter, this website has the lot.
  • Deals Direct – This website has more deals than you can imagine, they focus on a daily “deal”, buy in bulk and occasionally have some really good products at large discount to every day prices.
  • Brands Exclusive – Another online shop offering ideas in the cosmetic and perfume ranges for those looking Valentine’s Day ideas.

If you think you could benefit from providing your services to your clients online, let us know and we can discuss the cost versus the benefit.

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