E-commerce has become a way of life, offering us the convenience of shopping from our couches and getting anything we desire with just a few clicks. But, with great comfort comes great responsibility.
That’s why we’ve curated a guide with essential online shopping tips to help you make informed decisions and protect yourself while spending your money online in South Africa.
Your Guide to Safe Online Shopping
These are the most important tips to follow when purchasing products and services through cyberspace.
🔒 Only Buy Through Secure Payment Gateways
First things first, always use trusted and secure websites when making online purchases. Look for the lock image on the toolbar, valid certificates such as VeriSign or well-known payment gateways like PayFast, PayU or major credit card providers.
These systems encrypt your payment details, ensuring no one can access your hard-earned money.
✅ Choose Verified Businesses on Hellopeter
Before you click the “Buy Now” button, check that the business is registered and verified on trusted review platforms like Hellopeter. Knowing that the company is legit and committed to delivering quality products and services gives you peace of mind.
🛍️ Shop in Safe Spaces
Coffee shops and malls may be great for catching up with friends, but they aren’t the safest places for online shopping.
Public Wi-Fi can be risky, as fraudsters might intercept your connection and steal your private data. So, keep your retail therapy for private spaces where the internet is secure.
⭐ Read Reviews Before Checking Out
Hellopeter’s review system is a powerful tool for South African consumers. Look for businesses with multiple reviews and take the time to read through them, paying special attention to recent reviews, as they offer the most up-to-date insights into a company’s performance.
💬 Investigate Customer Complaint Responses
In addition to reading reviews, be sure to investigate how businesses respond to customer complaints on Hellopeter. Companies that address issues promptly and professionally demonstrate their commitment to resolving problems and satisfying their customers.
✉️ Beware of Strange Emails and Links
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sceptical of emails with suspicious links, especially those promising amazing deals. And please, never share personal information like your card details via email or phone calls! There are many scams doing their rounds in South Africa, from WhatsApp to social media scams.
🌐 Keep Your Browser Updated
We know updates can be pesky, but they’re essential for your online safety. Keep your browser and apps updated to minimise vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit.
🔑 Strengthen Your Passwords
Forget “password123” or your pet’s name, but rather create strong passwords with a mix of upper and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. Remember, a good password is like an extra barrier to keep you safe.
🏦 Monitor Your Bank Statements
Keep a close eye on your bank statements to catch any fishy transactions, and if you spot anything suspicious, notify your bank immediately.
🔖Compare Prices and Products
Take advantage of the different online retailers available by comparing prices, product specifications, and shipping fees before making a purchasing decision.
💻 Choose Reliable Antivirus Software
It’s like having a bodyguard for your digital life. Invest in good quality antivirus software, and you’ll have extra protection against malware and cyber threats.
📱Embrace Two-Factor Authentication
Say hello to your best friend in online shopping – the OTP (one-time PIN). Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of verification to your transactions, making it harder for cybercrooks to mess with your accounts.
🚸Teach Online Safety to Your Kids
Even if they don’t have credit cards, your kids need to learn about online safety too. Remind them never to share personal details over the phone or click on suspicious links.
Share Your Experiences on Hellopeter
Share your experiences on Hellopeter so your fellow shoppers who rely on reviews to make informed buying decisions can benefit too.
Happy shopping, Mzansi!