Are Australians too relaxed about online privacy?

Are Australians too relaxed about online privacy?

Australians are increasingly concerned about privacy, yet the number of individuals who feel comfortable providing their personal and credit card details over the internet is on the rise.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) annual scams activity report revealed that $90 million financial losses were reported in 2013 due to scams.

Identity theft and phishing scams, which con individuals into disclosing their personal details, saw a rise of 73 percent year-on-year.

With Australians taking a relaxed approach to online sharing and a rise in online scams — is there cause for concern?

Are you sharing too much?

New findings from Roy Morgan Research show almost one-quarter (23 percent) of individuals 14 years or older are comfortable providing their personal details over the internet in the year to June 2014. This marks a four percent increase over a three-year period. An even larger proportion (34 percent) felt comfortable providing their credit card details online.

Despite these figures, two-thirds of Australians are “worried about invasion of privacy through new technology”, the research organisation stated. Within this number, different generations have various views about online privacy.

“As well as frequency of use and familiarity, age plays a big part in our attitudes to privacy. Generation X and Baby Boomers are more concerned about privacy than average, while Generation Y is the most comfortable giving credit card and personal information over the internet with only around average concern for privacy,” explained Tim Martin, Roy Morgan Research General Manger for Media.

Australian privacy laws

It’s essential to be aware of where your information goes when you plug it in online — not to mention having an appreciation of potential risks, including scams and identity theft. Protecting your transaction and savings accounts, not to mention your identity, is a must in today’s internet age.

The collection, storage, use and disclosure of individuals’ personal information is governed by the Privacy Act 1998.

Under the Privacy Act, entities are obliged not to use or disclose personal information for a purpose other than the purpose it was collected for. Notifying individuals of the collection of their personal information is also required.

Entities that must abide by the legislation’s Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) include government agencies and businesses with $3 million or more in annual turnover.

Not-for-profit organisations with annual turnover of this amount or more must also abide by the act, as well as some smaller businesses, including (but not limited to) private sector health service providers, credit reporting bodies and some employee associations.

Such entities must take reasonable steps to “implement practices, procedures and systems” that ensure compliance with the APP, explained the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Be cyber aware

From using your credit card to buy new clothes to plugging personal information into mobile apps, there are many instances when you will be offering up sensitive information.

It’s prudent to read over privacy policies — APP entities are required to have an up to date, clear privacy policy.

However, even when you download an app via Google Play or from the Apple Store, you’ll be presented with a list of permissions. This gives you an idea of what kind of information may be accessed by the app on your mobile device.

When presented with a privacy policy, the OAIC recommends individuals find out:

What kind of information will be collected (including that which is sensitive); 

  • If it will be shared with a third party 
  • How it will be stored
  • Whether it will be used and disclosed 
  • How you can access these details 
  • Ways to make a privacy complaint.

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Learn more about credit cards

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

How to get a new credit card

To get a new credit card, generally you need to be at least 18 years old and have a good credit rating. You don’t need to be an Australian citizen. Usually you can apply online or in person at a branch of the card issuer. You’ll typically have to supply information like:

  • Your income and living costs (e.g. rent/mortgage, loan repayments, living expenses)
  • Your employer’s contact details
  • Details of your assets and any debts you are paying off

Increase your credit card limit with Westpac

You can apply to increase your Westpac credit card credit limit at any time, and most credit card providers have made it really easy to do so. You can use your online banking portal, the credit card provider’s mobile app, or even the telephone. 

Applying online to increase your credit limit with Westpac is the easiest option if you’ve already activated Westpac Live Online Banking. All you need to do is fill in the required information and then hit ‘submit’ to apply for an increase in your credit card limit.

Most banks will ask for details of your financial situation at the time of applying for a credit increase. This is done to ensure your new limit meets the lender’s criteria. 

You can apply for increasing your credit limit in any of the following ways:

  1. Visiting your nearest Westpac branch
  2. Calling Westpac on 1300 651 089
  3. Logging in on Westpac Live Online Banking

How can I increase my credit card limit on my American Express card?

If you want to increase the credit limit on your American Express (AMEX) credit card, you will need to apply through the AMEX Online Services, or by calling the number on the back of your card. You may need to share personal information that the bank can use to assess whether the requested limit is suitable for you and your current financial status. Once your application is approved, your new limit will be ready for use within an hour.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

How does ANZ increase my credit card limit?

If you’re the primary cardholder on an ANZ credit card, you can increase your credit limit by logging into your credit card account and choosing the “Increase your credit limit” option. You can also submit an ANZ credit card limit increase application form by visiting any ANZ branch or by mail or fax. When completing the form, it's important to remember to specify how much you want the limit increased. You can estimate this by first calculating the amount of credit card debt you can afford to repay based on your income and expenses, and then declaring that in your application. 

Irrespective of whether you’re completing your ANZ credit card limit increase application online or in print, you’ll need to provide updated employment information, income, and expenses, which the company will have to verify. You'll also need to authorise ANZ’s access to your credit history, as your current credit score and recent credit history tell the company about your financial responsibility, and whether or not you'll be able to repay the additional debt you’re applying for. 

In some cases, ANZ may ask you for additional information, or the agent processing the application may reach out to you after your application is received. After verifying your credit score as well as your personal and financial information, however, ANZ may approve a credit card limit increase proportionate to your repaying ability, though it may not be the same as the increase you requested.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

Can I get a credit card with bad credit?

Yes, some lenders will provide credit cards to Australians with bad credit scores. It depends on the provider's individual lending criteria and whether you’ve presented your personal finances to show you’re an ‘ideal’ applicant.

How to increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit?

As a Bendigo Bank credit cardholder, you can avail a minimum limit of $500, but if you use your card regularly, you may want to consider increasing it. To increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit, you can contact the bank’s credit card team on 1300 236 344 and talk to the bank directly.

You can also apply for a credit card limit increase through online banking, by logging into Bendigo Bank web portal or through the app on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you'll want  to send a secure message to Bendigo Bank asking them to increase your credit card limit. 

If you cannot access the online portal or the app, you can also apply to increase your credit card limit through the online enquiry form. Simply add relevant information in the required fields and click ‘Submit’. Once you have completed the application, Bendigo Bank should verify your details and analyse your current financial standing. Based on this assessment, the bank will either accept your application to increase your credit card limit or deny it. 

How can I increase my St.George credit card limit?

You can apply to increase the limit of your St.George credit card online through Internet Banking. Log in and go to ‘Manage my accounts’. Within that, look for ‘Card Services’ and select ‘Increase Credit Card Limit’. Alternatively, you can also call on 133 800 and say ‘Increase Card Limit’ when prompted. You’ll also be required to share some information at the time of making the application.

To apply for a credit limit increase on your St. George credit card, your account should have been open for at least six months before the application and you should not have made a credit limit increase request in the last six months. Also remember, that you are only eligible for a credit limit increase if you’re the primary cardholder.

Final approval of your request depends on satisfactorily meeting the credit assessment criteria.

Are there credit cards for students?

Yes, there are credit cards available with students in mind. These can help young Australians to build their credit report and learn crucial life skills around budgeting and managing personal finances.

How do credit cards work?

Think of credit cards as a short-term loan where you use the bank’s money to buy something up front and then pay for it later. Unlike a debit card which uses your own money to pay, a credit card essentially borrows the bank’s money to fund the purchase. When you apply for a credit card, the bank assesses your income and assigns you a credit limit based on what you can afford to pay back. At the end of each billing cycle, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement showing the minimum amount you have to pay back, including any interest payable on the balance.