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Tips for safe, secure last-minute online shopping


Visa’s tips for safe and secure last-minute online shopping

Shoppers encouraged to follow ten simple steps to help protect themselves online this Christmas

Auckland, 15 December 2005 – Visa International is urging shoppers to be smart when purchasing gifts online in the last-minute Christmas rush.

Partnering with the Internet Safety Group-NetSafe, Visa International has produced ten simple steps for cardholders to follow to help ensure they are safe while shopping online.

1. Make sure the web browser is secure when you enter transactional details: look for an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ in the webpage address or URL, and look for the padlock in the bottom right of your screen (which denotes a secure, encrypted session). Learn about security certificates and what they should show.

2. Never send payment information via email. Most reputable merchant sites use encryption technologies that will protect your private information from being accessed by others as you conduct a transaction.

3. Check delivery and return policies.

4. The most secure way to enter a site is by typing in the URL. Never follow a link from an email even to a “secure website”.

5. Change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same passwords on different sites.

6. Never leave your computer unattended when engaged in an online transaction.

7. Always log out when ending a secure transaction.

8. Conduct online transactions only with businesses that have a good reputation and exemplary privacy and other policy statements readily available.

9. Don’t enter your credit card details at a public access computer.

10. Check out ‘Do the Net basics’ on to review the security of your home computer.

Claire Balfour, of the Internet Safety Group-NetSafe, says “Increasing numbers of people are shopping online, especially at this time of year. However, it is important to take sensible precautions. Visa International is to be commended for providing its customers with this safety and security information. Read in conjunction with the NetSafe pamphlet ‘Do the Net basics’, these simple tips will help keep New Zealanders safer when they shop online.”

Iain Jamieson, New Zealand Country Manager, Visa International, says that despite growth many New Zealanders still have concerns about shopping online so Visa want to provide shoppers with some simple steps to help keep safe this Christmas.

“In the last minute Christmas rush the Internet offers a tantalising tool for booking holidays or finding last-minute gifts and we’d like to give shoppers some simple steps to confidently enjoy their shopping.

“In recent years the rate of fraud as a proportion of volume on Visa cards has halved and consumers shopping safely play a major role in this.

“By being cautious and knowing how to spot safe shopping channels cardholders can help Visa, the banks and merchants ensure that fraud rates continue to drop,” says Mr Jamieson.

Visa is continually introducing new initiatives to provide added security for online payment transactions. One such initiative is Verified by Visa which allows New Zealanders extra security over the Internet. Participating banks provide cardholders with a personalised password. As they shop online, they enter the password during the check-out process, confirming they are, in fact, the cardholder authorising the sale. Cardholders should contact their bank to see if this service is available to them.

Each year the Internet grows in popularity as a shopping tool and according to the Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday eShopping Index released this week, there has been a 33 percent year-over-year increase in the total number of online shopping trips in the United States during the week ending December 4th.

The year-over-year fastest growing category was Books/Music/Video, which increased in shopping visits by a remarkable 238 percent compared with week six of the 2004 holiday season.

For more safety tips and information on Visa’s security programmes visit
For general information on cybersafety and online security visit


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