Online shoppers can be easy targets for cybercriminals Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - The number of online retail consumers is increasing across the world, but safe is online shopping?

Many people go with the option of online shopping because it is convenient, however like, with any online activity, e-commerce has grabbed the attention of cybercriminals. 

According to Robert Brown, CEO of DRS, said that cybercriminals can be likened to pickpockets, they go where they can find the crowd, which is why online transactions are becoming a popular target. 

Here are some tips from Brown on how to stay safe and secure when shopping online:

1. Stick to brands and businesses that you know well and that have a good reputation. Reputable brands and businesses that sell online are sure to have good security solutions to protect their customers that shop online. 

2. Shop on secure websites, look for https: rather http: at the front of the URL. Sites that use https are secure because they use SSL (Secure Sockets Lock) to encrypt any information that is sent out online like your credit card details. This allows for your personal information to stay safe. 

3. Be vigilant about the connection you are shopping over. Public Wi-Fi is a notorious way for cybercriminals to conduct man in the middle attacks. Public hotspots can be easy targets making them unsafe to use.

4. Use secure payment services like PayPal or use your credit card compared to your debit card. Payment services like PayPal are a secure option with the advantage of acting as the middleman. 

5. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. There are fantastic deals that are legitimate and some are scams to that are hoping to infect their targets with malware.