Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
Many shop online to avoid crowded shopping malls. Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash
Many shop online to avoid crowded shopping malls. Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

Christmas is around the corner, and people are buying presents, with many turning to online services to save time and avoid bustling shopping centres. Antivirus software company ESET South Africa share some tips on how to shop safe online this festive season:


Stick with familiar faces

Buy from websites that have a good reputation for doing what they say, providing accurate information and delivering it in good shape and on time. When you’re getting down to the wire with shipping deadlines, the last thing you need is friends and relatives getting the wrong gifts, or no gift at all.


Be wary of "amazing" deals

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Such deals can be very tempting, but it really is safer to avoid following links that offer goods at impossibly cheap prices. Be doubly vigilant – the more reliable the brand and the more secure the URL, the more likely that it’s authentic.


Look out for https URL and padlock symbol

https, which was developed by Netscape, is an online safety protocol that encrypts information so that data can be kept private and protected. In most cases, the text in the URL is preceded by a padlock symbol. If this is missing, the website should be treated with caution.


Many shop online to avoid crowded shopping malls. Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

Use credit cards and secure payment services instead of debit cards

As a rule, credit cards, in comparison to debit cards, offer consumers additional protection when shopping online. The main advantage of the latter is that a credit card account is in no way linked to whatever funds you own. Furthermore, unlike debit cards, credit cards may have a limit on the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying if your information is stolen and used by someone else. 


Opt for your mobile phone network over public WiFi

Public Wi-Fi is unquestionably something we as consumers now expect. From shops to cafes to restaurants, being able to access the internet with little or no cost is in tune with our connected way of living. However, when it comes to being online, all the convenience that comes with public WiFi can be overshadowed by the many risks that are associated with this service. You would be surprised at how unsecure many hotspots are and how easy they are to attack.


The Mercury