The convenience of being able to compare several prices from different sites, check for bargains and save money has made online shopping an increasingly popular option in Johannesburg.
Unfortunately, its increased popularity has also increased the risks associated with online retail therapy. That is, the more things you add to the carts, the more opportunities fraudsters and hackers have to gain access to your card details and hard-earned money.
Thankfully, by following these simple rules we have compiled you will have a safe, secure and rewarding online shopping experience;
- Only Trust Encrypted Websites.
A general rule of the thumb you should always keep in mind is that not every e-commerce website provides the ideal conditions for safe online shopping in Johannesburg.
Thus, you must limit your online shopping in Johannesburg, and only conduct transactions using a trusted Wi-Fi network. You need to look for the padlock symbol on the URL bar, as well as next to your Wi-Fi network. Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your personal information is transferred in the safest way possible
2. Look For The Lock.
You should never buy anything online using a credit card from a website that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed.
A website that has SSL, will have their URL start with HTTPS–instead of just HTTP. Also, a locked padlock icon will appear, typically on the left of the URL in the address bar or some cases the status bar down, depending on your browser.
It has become standard, even for non-shopping websites, to have HTTPS on the URL. Google Chrome now flags any website without the extra S as not secure.
3. Do Not Click On Untrusted Pop-Up Ads.
It is common practice for retailers to make use of pop-up ads for their newsletters, promotions and flyers, but always be on the lookout for phishing scams.
Scammers use pesky pop-up ads to lure or confuse online shoppers and the best way to protect yourself is to install an ad-blocker when shopping online in Johannesburg on unfamiliar websites.
4. Protect Your Computer.
Scammers do not sit around twiddling their thumbs waiting for you to give them your data, they often give you a little something extra to help you along.
Thus, you will need to protect against malware by frequently updating your antivirus program.
It is always advisable to opt for a full-blown security suite that will have antivirus software that will also fight spam, spear-phishing emails, and phishing attacks from websites. The last two try and steal your information by mimicking a message or website that looks legit.
Keep in mind that having it installed is not enough. You ought to ensure that your anti-malware tools are always up to date, otherwise, new threats can find their way through.
5. Create Strong Passwords.
Many of us are guilty of either changing our passwords a few times a year or more likely never. Because of this, it cannot be stressed enough the importance of utilising uncrackable passwords, as it is very important when it comes to online shopping in Johannesburg.
You may think using your child’s, spouses or grandmother’s birthday is a perfect password, but no password is perfect. Using a password manager to create a password for you is a smart move.
6. Avoid Public Terminals.
It is one thing handing your credit card to get swiped at checkout. But when you enter your credit card number and expiration date on a website while sitting in a public café, you are giving a ‘peeping Tom’ plenty of time to steal your information.
At the very least, sit in the back, facing the door and only use website that you trust and have your credit card stored already, so you do not have to constantly pull your card out.
7. Look For Customer Service Information.
Online shopping websites in Johannesburg that are safe will have their customer service number or email address readily available.
It is recommended to read over their refunds and exchange policies and their openness about these conditions is a good sign of their credibility.
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