Shopping online – keep your money safe


In today’s fast-paced, digital world, shopping online is not only easy, but also convenient. But how safe is your money and personal information really?

One of the fastest growing retail sectors in South Africa today, is online shopping. Whether it’s shopping for groceries, clothes and everyday “things” we need, or even spending in garage sale swap-sites and auctions, online shopping has become the new normal. It’s easy and convenient. But, there are steps you need to take to make sure your money and personal information is kept safe.

Some tips for shopping online:
  • Trust the right retailers. Larger, well-known retailers are often some of the safest sites to shop at because they have solid protection measures in place. Look for the “lock” icon in the toolbar that tells you you’re on a safe site. For smaller companies and start-ups with niche offerings, you can always phone ahead to work out their authenticity, or read their reviews. A site like TrustPilot offers information about trusted and untrustworthy sites.
  • If it’s too good to be true… Unknown shopping sites with unbelievable offers often pop up in your social media feed. If they’re not local, well-known brands, they could still be valid, but expect international delivery costs and taxes at the airport when you pick up your purchases. More often, though, you could be “catfished” into buying something that looks nothing like the picture used to sell it, with little way of returning it. Online reviews by local buyers are a good way to work out if others have had a safe shopping experience.
  • Look for safe payment methods. Apart from the lock image, valid certificates such as VeriSign, two-factor authentication and secure payment systems like PayPal are safe. Look for ‘https://’ in the web address of that page which tells you your information is encrypted and secure.
  • Log in at safe spots. Don’t use unsecured, public Wi-Fi to shop. Hackers could intercept your connection and get hold of your username and password.
  • Something doesn’t look right? Phishing websites use copycat information that allows hackers to capture your details. Look out for ads on social media that could take you to a fraudulent site. You might be able to spot errors or spelling mistakes on the site or in the address bar. These are tell-tale signs. Rather use an app, or type in the address yourself.
  • Check the certificate. The padlock symbol will take you to the information on the site certificate which will tell you who has registered the site. If you get a pop-up warning about a certificate, avoid the website.
  • Secure yourself. Keep your security and antivirus software updated.
  • Make double sure. An OTP (one-time PIN) is one of the best ways to ensure you’re paying securely. Two-factor authentication means an OTP is sent to a secure device, which you then use to authenticate a transaction.
  • Tell your bank about anything suspicious. If you suspect anything suspicious on your account, or if your bank card is missing or stolen, contact your bank immediately.

Your security and the privacy of your personal information are our priority. If you suspect irregular activity on your Discovery Bank account, please call our Fraud team on +27 11 324 4444.

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