IN A case of if you can't beat them join them, major retailers are embracing online shopping and committing money and resources to improve their websites and improve their ranges.
Target has announced it will follow Myer and David Jones in investing tens of millions of dollars into its online drive and will sell 60,000 products to web-based customers.
While this was probably welcomed by those au fait with online shopping, there are many who would like to dip their toes in but find the technology or the danger of stolen personal and financial information a deterrent.
Here are some basic tips to protect your details and make online shopping an enjoyable experience.
Use familiar websites - Ask friends and colleagues for reputable sites or try the major retailers for your first forays. Beware misspellings or parallel sites set up with enticing false sales to get you to part with your information.
Look for the lock - Don't buy anything online using a credit card if the site doesn't use an encryption layer. The URL for secure sites will start with https instead of http.
Don't show your hand - Online shopping stores don't really need your birthday or licence number but if undesirables get a hold of them, combined with your credit card for purchases, they can do a lot of damage.
Check statements - Don't wait for your paper statement. Go online and check your accounts regularly. The sooner you pick up a fraudulent charge, the easier it is to rectify.