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December 8th, 2016 by


Online shopping in South Africa is slowly on the rise.

Companies like PriceCheck and Takealot are some of the most visible online retail companies in South Africa, which raise awareness and trust of online shopping on a local platform.

While online shopping is convenient, and can sometimes be less expensive than shopping in a physical store, there are dangers which exist online that don’t exist in the real world.

7 Tips To Stay Safe While Shopping Online

Instead of swearing off online shopping altogether, we’ve come up with a few tips to help keep you safe while you enjoy all the wonders of online shopping.

1. Look For Additional Credit Card Security

In the last year or so, each major credit card issuer has created their own secure system online that utilises an OTP (one time pin), which is sent to your phone when you’re busy with an online transaction.

If you use a Visa card, then you can expect to see ‘Verified By Visa’. if you use Mastercard then expect to see ‘SecureCode’.

If you don’t see these when shopping online (they usually appear in a separate window when you’re about to pay), then you might want to consider shopping elsewhere.

It’s also worth speaking to your bank to find out whether they support these additional security measures.

CLICK BELOW to read about 5 ways to avoid credit card fraud when shopping online.

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2. Is The Checkout Secure?

Make sure that the website you’re using has an encryption on your credit card transaction.

You can check this by looking for a small lock either at the bottom of your browser screen, or in the URL bar at the top of the screen.

3. Check The Return Policy

A reputable online merchant will have detailed returns / refund / warranty / guarantee information on their site. If you can’t find proper information regarding the above, then you should consider taking your business to a different site.

4. Conduct Research 

If you’re shopping on a website that you’ve never been on before, hunt around for reviews and see if other people have had a good or bad experience with the site.

5. Value Your Personal Information

When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.

6. Beware Of Additional Costs

Shopping online doesn’t always mean that you get free shipping. Check to see whether there are any additional costs. These could include shipping, taxes, duty, or import fees.

7. Be Careful At Wi-Fi Hotspots

If you’re connecting to the internet via a wi-fi hotspot, limit the type of business you conduct on your device.

Things like logging on to important accounts (email or banking) are not necessarily secure when using an open wi-fi hotspot. So, shopping online while using a hotspot might not be as secure as shopping online from your home.