The festive season is here, and whichever way you slice it, there is going to be shopping to do.
Luckily we live in an age where even your grocery shopping can be done online, so you can avoid the crowds. The problem is that December is also the prime time for online scammers. Which is why it’s more important than ever to make sure your online shopping is safe and secure.
6 Tips to Safe Online Shopping
Buy from reputable online stores
This is not the time to be experimenting with obscure new online stores. If you are going to shop online, make sure you only buy from well-known, well-trusted online stores. Check their ratings before you buy. Read the reviews, and if you’re downloading a store-app, check the reviews on that, too.
Don’t buy in public Wifi Hot Spots
You should never access sensitive information over public Wifi. If you need to enter any details that will give a user access to your banking details or bank-linked account details, make sure you do so in a trusted environment over a known Wifi connection (such as your Fibre line at home).
If it sounds Too Good to be True – it Probably IS
If you see an offer online that seems impossibly good, then it’s more than likely a scam. Do not enter your banking details, and refer to point one above: always buy from reputable stores.
Use your Credit Card: Payment Protection
Not all payment methods are created equal. Sometimes the person scamming you is not the store themselves, but a clever hacker who has cracked their system. For this reason, most banks have a zero-liability policy on their credit cards, which makes your credit card the safest way to shop online. If you do get scammed, report it to your financial institution immediately.
Check the Site’s URL
The web address should always start with http. This tells you that your information is being encrypted before it’s sent. A payment page starting with anything else is dicey and you should get out as quickly as possible.
Install an antivirus
One quick and easy way to ensure that your banking information (and any other sensitive data) stays safe is to install reputable antivirus software on your PC and home network. At only R39 per month for a full-house Smart Security system, it’s really worth the security it affords you.