Be a smart online shopper

Youth money management
Wants and needs
Online shopping
Cyber security

Online shopping has become a common practice nowadays, especially in the post-pandemic era when a lot of us have become accustomed to, if not dependent, on it. The endless choices, promotions, as well as ease of payment and delivery have made online shopping all the more appealing.

Five online shopping tips

On the flip side, online shopping’s seemingly attractive offers and easy payment options can lead to buying things that you don't need, or even overspending. It may also be possible that factors such as habit, boredom and emotional stress can fuel your online shopping drive. As a result, you may end up spending more than you can afford or chalking up a debt.

Here are some tips to keep your online shopping in check:

  1. If you come across something that you really want to buy, wait a day or two before making the purchase. That way you will know if it is something that you really need and not another impulse purchase.
  2. Only buy from reputable sellers. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Make use of Scameter to run checks on the potential seller before making any purchases.
  3. It never hurts to compare prices. Often during sales, the original price is inflated to make the "sale" seem more like a bargain. Do look around to get the best deal around.
  4. Use a budgeting app to keep track of your spending.
  5. Don't borrow money or get into debt for shopping. Taking out a loan, late or missing credit card or Buy Now Pay Later payments could entail paying interest and/or other administration costs for your purchases. Learn more about debt management here.

Internet security is important

Being a smart online shopper also mean paying attention to cyber security, steering clear from online scams and cyber-attacks. Here are some tips:

  • Set a strong password, which includes a mix of upper and lower cases, alphanumeric characters and symbols etc. Change your password regularly and don’t use the same one cross different platforms.
  • Add extra layer of security protection by using two-factor authentication (2FA) especially when using credit cards online.
  • Visit reliable/official websites and don't click on links in emails, search results or pop-up windows from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • Use trusted computers or mobile devices and networks for online transactions. Do not use public computers or networks to access your accounts.
  • Protect your electronic devices by installing anti-virus and anti-spyware softwares and keep them updated regularly.
  • When you download and install any software or apps bear in mind data security and privacy.
  • Don’t wait until you receive your statement to check on your account. Keep a close eye on your online wallet, credit card and bank account transactions and report to your bank immediately if there are suspicious transactions.