How to shop online safely

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As online shopping becomes the new normal for many, it’s worth remembering these safety tips so that your convenience doesn’t come with an extra cost.

According to the George Herald, here are some tips for when shopping online:

Shop on trusted websites
Fraudsters often set up fake e-commerce websites to gather your personal details and payment information, so do your research before you buy. Look for contact details, customer reviews and anything else that verifies their legitimacy. Otherwise stick with well-known sites and those belonging to the big retailers.

Check for website security
Pay close attention to the URL – in other words, the website address. You want to see ‘https://’ (with an ‘s’ which stands for secure). There should also be a lock symbol on the toolbar and secure payment systems such as PayU symbol next to the  

Don’t shop online using public Wi-Fi
If you must browse and buy while in a coffee shop or mall, use your own mobile data rather than the free Wi-Fi. That way potential fraudsters will be unable to intercept your personal details.  

Use your credit card, not debit card
Credit cards offer protection on purchases, debit cards do not. Make sure your online banking and shopping transactions require a one-time pin (OTP) which is essentially a passcode sent to your cellphone. That way everything you buy will require a separate verification – doubling your safety.  

Keep software and virus protection up to date
Always do system and app updates and make sure you have anti-virus (malware) protection on all your devices.  

Cancel if uncomfortable
If the merchant is asking you for more information than you’re comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction. Never store your payment details on their website and make sure you have a strong password too.  

Keep an eye on your bank statements
Check your accounts regularly for unauthorized transactions and alert the bank as soon as you see anything suspicious. Make sure you receive SMS or email notifications everytime your credit card is used.

George Herald