Simple steps ensure online shopping is fun, safe and value for money

Sydney, 1 December 2008 – NetChoice, the e-commerce advocacy group, today issued a set of helpful guidelines in Australia to ensure a safe buying experience for online shoppers. The NetChoice Pay Safe Guidelines provide the online shopping do’s and don’ts, plus some best practice tips.


  • Know your seller. Ensure you are shopping at a reputable site. Check there are contact details to get in touch with online store. Don’t be afraid to call the store.
  • Be clear what the total cost is, including delivery charges. Check the returns policy.
  • Make sure payment method is secure. Look for a ‘padlock’ in the bottom right corner of the browser window before you submit your credit card numbers.
  • Check that the website address is the one you were expecting.
  • Keep your firewall and anti-virus software up to date.
  • Read the merchant’s terms and conditions.
  • Keep a record of the transaction.


  • Never divulge financial identification in an email.
  • Don’t respond to emails that request financial identification.
  • If an offer looks too good to be true, don’t take the bait.


  • If possible, use a payment method that protects your financial identity. Choose payment methods like PayMate, PayPal or POLi, since they don’t reveal your bank account or credit card information to the online merchant.
  • Use a payment method that guarantees your money back should something go wrong.

NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco said that bad online shopping experiences are rare, but that continued vigilance was essential when using e-commerce.

“The key advice is ‘know your seller’. If you haven’t used a particular online merchant before, do a little research. Review their site closely, look for contact information, and always choose the safest method of payment available.”

Consumers can have full confidence when shopping online if they just use common sense, according to DelBianco.  “Payment methods that shield your credit card details form a merchant provide the gold standard of protection.”