#money-tips | 3 min read

5 Tips for safe online shopping

By TymeBank - 05 October, 2021

Helpful tips to keep you safe when shopping online.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught Mzansi some new skills. We’ve learnt how to wash our hands properly, how to meet people virtually, how to make beer from pineapples, and, according to a study by Deloitte, how to shop online.

The survey found that up to 22 million South African consumers shopped online, and two out of three people say they’re going to shop online even more in 2021. Why wouldn’t you? You can spend hours browsing local businesses of all sizes, compare prices between retailers, and have your goods delivered to your door – all without getting out of your pyjamas.
But, it’s not all fun and games. Shopping online is not without risk – when you shop online you need to be vigilant so that you don’t become the victim of online scammers.

Tips for safe online shopping

1. OTP secures online shopping

When buying from your favourite store, you will receive a One Time Password (OTP) password sent to your phone (on the number registered to your account). It's only good for one transaction and must be used immediately after being generated.
Since the message containing the OTP is sent directly to the cardholder, an OTP ensures that you, the cardholder, are really transacting on the store’s website. If you ever receive an OTP and you’re not shopping online, call us immediately as there may be someone trying to use your card for an illegal purchase. And never share an OTP with anyone – treat it like your PIN!

2. CVV for your eyes only

If you look at the back of your card, you'll notice a series of three or four numbers. This code is known as the card verification value (or CVV) and is an added layer of security when shopping online. Keep this number private, unless you trust the website you’re shopping on. Avoid posting pictures of your card detailing your account and card number on social media.

3. Is the website safe?

Speaking of trusting websites, here are some things to look for when shopping online to ensure that the website is legit:

  • Padlock symbol – Make sure there is a padlock symbol in the address bar right next to the website address.
  • Website address – This should start with https://. The ‘S’ stands for secure.
  • Valid certificate – You can see details of the site certificate if you click on the padlock icon. This should reveal who created the platform and issued the certificate. Avoid the website if you receive a certificate notice.
  • Essential info only – An online retailer will never ask you for your banking details such as your login, password or card PIN. If you are asked for these, the website is fraudulent.
  • Word of mouth can also help you secure your money. Shop from websites already used by trusted friends and family.
  • The safest way to access the website is to manually type the URL as provided by the trusted provider and ensuring the above points are in place.

4. Check, check and check again

When was the last time you checked your electronic statements? Make it a habit to view your bank statements regularly, especially if you shop online often. See if you can spot any fraudulent charges, even originating from trusted websites. If something doesn’t look right, report it immediately.

5. Remember to switch off

When you’re not spending your hard-earned moola online, you can ensure no one else will either. Log into your TymeBank app or internet banking and switch off online shopping capability on your card. It’s just as easy to switch it back on again when you want to shop.

Double your shopping power

MoreTyme lets you pay for your items over three months, interest-free! You pay 50% upfront and take your items home, and pay the balance in equal amounts over two months. MoreTyme is available when shopping in store and online. Watch this space for more retailers.

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