Online shoppers, you can’t be too safe

Being a behind your computer, safely in the comfort of your home, you might think that you are away from predators, but think again. The benefits of online shopping are surely there; no longer do you have to wait in long queues or have to deal with disgruntled employees. The joys of online shopping are upon us and more South Africans are adapting to this new form of spending. However, there are still a few things you need to look out for before you click make payment.

Is your online retailer reliable?

Before you click, no your pick. Many companies have debit order collections via an electronic form of payment. This is a safe way of making payments, but if you don’t make use of a secure debit order source, you could run the risk of being defrauded.  As for purchasing goods from an online retailer, make sure that the site has a high recommendation level. It’s recommended that you manually type in the URL, instead of finding the site on a search engine.

If you’ve made the payment and then feel insecure about the payment you made, you can call the retailer for surety.  Don’t panic when your package hasn’t arrived at your door, but hold the online store accountable for their delivery date. Most online retailers have a system in place called order tracking which allows the consumer to track the process of their purchase.

Don’t trust public Wi-Fi

The quickest way to compare prices is to check online, instead of calling the place of business. If you need to access the Internet when you’re out shopping and want to make a quick comparison with the best deals that online retailers are offering, avoid public Wi-Fi sources. It’s safer to do so via your cellular internet service provider.

“There can be security risks if you access the Internet via a public Wi-Fi network. Cybercriminals can intercept your data and capture your passwords, login details, and financial information,” warns Kaspersky Lab’s team of internet security.

Little things to look for on screen

Avoid making a purchase from a site that doesn’t have a padlock icon placed in the URL bar. Check to see if the site has SSL (secure sockets layer), to know whether it is encrypted. This is a small indication that your data is secured by the site.

If the URL starts with HTTPS://, then it’s safe to use. It is safer to avoid an online shopping site where the URL starts with HTTP://, notice the missing S. Depending on which browser you use the padlock icon will either be on bottom of the status bar or at the top of your browser.

Millions of people have been hoaxed into making an unsecure payment, don’t become a statistic. Be careful when making electronic payments online, a scam artist is just a click away waiting for his unsuspecting victim.




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