One of the reasons South Africans have been relatively slow in joining the online shopping party is because we’re scared of tapping in our credit or debit card details.
But shopping online, says Vincent Hoogduijn, CEO of Media24’s e-commerce division, is actually safer than buying in a shop, where you’re at the mercy of card skimmers, muggers and pickpockets.
You just need to ensure you keep your credit card secure by using strong passwords, keeping them safe and being alert to phishing or hacking attacks.
Vincent explains that many people are unaware “that if you use your credit card online, you’re insured.
“If someone steals your credit card details and makes a fraudulent transaction online, you can contact your bank or credit card company and they do an investigation and you get reimbursed.
“But if you pay upfront through EFT, for instance, it’s very difficult to get those funds back if something goes wrong.”
Look for the little padlock icon next to the website’s address, which should start with https – the ‘s’ indicates the page is secure.
If you come across a new website and spot a product you like but you’ve never heard of the company, Google it and look for reviews or ask around. You’ll soon find out if it’s legit or not.
And remember the age-old wisdom: while there are bargains to be had, if it sounds too good to be true, chances are it’s a scam.
Reputable sites will calculate the shipping cost of your order before you’re asked to pay – if they don’t, you should proceed with caution.