How can I buy online securely?

After the recent closure of her local Borders bookshop, YOURLifeChoices subscriber Mary wants to purchase books from online book retailer, Amazon. Mary is hesitant due to increasing cyber theft and fraud. Webmaster Drew explains how to buy securely online.

Q. Dear Drew,

I have always been very concerned with the lack of security on the web and placing my credit card in the hands of online stores I have never physically visited, and therefore have never purchased anything online. Furthermore, I read in the newspaper that Sony’s systems were hacked and customers’ information was stolen, adding to my hesitation.

My local Borders bookshop has recently closed down and my friends all use Amazon to purchase their books, which they say are much cheaper anyway. Can you explain what my alternative payment options are?


A. Hi Mary,

You are not alone in your concerns regarding using your credit card online. Credit Card Fraud and theft of information are both major problems on the internet. There a couple of ways to approach your situation.

The first option is for you and your friend to purchase books from Amazon together. This is a very smart way to purchase online as one of the largest charges is delivery fees, especially when ordering bulky items from overseas. If you combine your book orders, you are both likely to save around $20 on each order. This also allows you to pay your friend in cash, avoiding use of your credit card.

The other option is for you to purchase what is known as a prepaid visa or mastercard. These are purchasable at your local Australia Post or bank. The cards sell for $7.95 and are similar to a pre-paid sim card. You simply recharge the card every time you run out (there is a $3.95 recharge fee). You can find out more information here –

I hope this information helps you make a secure purchase.

Kind Regards,
Webmaster Drew