Shop safely online during COVID-19

With much of the world forced to stay indoors, and Netflix drip-feeding us new series, many people have turned to online shopping as a way to pass the time.

And while a little retail therapy goes a long way, it’s important to remember to take precautions when conducting transactions online. To paraphrase a parking sign posted by a popular Kingston restaurant, ‘Tief rampant’.

So, as we plan our events ‘fits for the return outside, here are some safety tips for shopping inside:

  1. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is – Your parents have never steered you wrong. Be wary of individuals and companies that ask for information you would not share in a typical online transaction or any payment requirements that seem out of the ordinary.
  2. Ensure transactions are secure – We’re not doing bank transfers to random accounts and we’re certainly not sharing credit card information over the phone. Insist on secure transactions. The US Chamber says ensure payments are submitted to websites with https:// (the ‘s’ stands for secure) and look for a lock symbol at the bottom of your browser.
  3. Be careful when shopping abroad – Look for trusted vendors that use identifiable privacy and security safeguards and have legitimate addresses
  4. Guard personal information – We’ve already hinted at it, now we’re saying it for the people in the bank. DO NOT share personal information online and avoid sketchy sites as they may have software that can steal your credit card information or other personal data from your device.
  5. Scrutinise labels, packaging and contents – We need to know what the expiry date is, when the warranty expires, see the safety information and proper certifications. Trust your instincts, if it looks like a duck and quack like a duck, then don’t be surprised if said duck steals your personal data and sells it to unsavoury characters.