Tips for Safe and Secure Online Shopping

By Heidi Soliman

Many Egyptians have not accepted the idea of doing their shopping via the internet, as shopping online is often associated with not being safe and secure. You do not have to fear the idea of  online shopping anymore. Whether you are a frequent online shopper or new to it, Yaoota is offering essential knowledge on how to make your online purchasing as safe as possible and not be a target of online theft or fraud.  

Here are a few tips to make online shopping one less thing to worry about:

1- Use only trustworthy sites

When you purchase from a well-known site, you are less likely to be a target of online fraud or thrift. Make sure you use trusted sites only, like,, or for your online shopping. Also, make sure you have entered the address of the site correctly with the right domain; some sites are copycats and could create a domain name that is very similar to the original retailer’s domain. It could be different by one letter or it could have the same exact name but with “.net” instead of “.com.” Those are some tricks sites use to spam users. You can easily overlook these tricks if you did not pay a closer attention. However, if you are using an online retail store for the first time, and you are not sure whether it is legitimate or not, you can do a quick research to check its reviews and credentials.


2- Look for ‘https://’ and ‘secure’

Check the URL in the address bar for https:// before you enter any payment information. The “s” at the end is what shows whether the site is secure or not. If the URL has only http, do not share any information. Additionally, make sure that the site you are using has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). To know so, look for a small lock icon on the left side of your browser’s address bar. You will also see the word ‘secure’ beside the lock icon. If you find them, this means the site is secured and safe to make online purchases.


3- Do not shop when connected to a public Wi-Fi network

Avoid entering any payment information when you are connected to an unfamiliar public Wi-Fi connection or public computers; they are usually unsecured. Do not be tempted to make a purchase when you are connected to a library, airport or a cafe’s Wi-Fi network. However, if you must make an online purchase when you are outside, and you do not have access to a secured Wi-Fi, use your cellular data instead.


4- Use credit cards instead of debit cards

Credit cards are known to be a more secured online payment than debit cards. Most credit cards allow purchase protection if your card was charged without your authority or if your card got stolen. Credit cards are more flexible in case you want to get a chargeback. This is when you want to cancel out a transaction that has already been made and get a refund. Always check with your bank first for the safest ways to make online purchases.


There is another option you might consider when making your online purchases; you can use a single-use credit card. Those act like disposable cards that you get to use only once. That way, you guarantee that no one is keeping your active credit card number and information. Further, do not let online shopping sites keep your credit card information. There is usually an option whether you want to save your information on your account or not. It is better to uncheck it, so that the retailer will not charge your card without your authorization.


5-Use unique passwords

A strong unique password is less likely to be predicted. Make sure to pick out strong passwords for your online shopping accounts, and avoid easily guessable passwords like 12345, etc. Also, do not use passwords that include your name or your birth date. Moreover, never share your passwords with anybody, and do not use the same password for more than one online account.


6- Go over your bank statements

Check your bank statements frequently in order to make sure that your card has not been charged with any unauthorized transaction. If this happened, make sure to notify your bank immediately. Meanwhile, instead of waiting for your bank statements to come in the mail, go online and look at the electronic version that will fasten the process of stopping any unwanted transaction.


7- Protect your PC

Anyone who uses the internet needs to take safety measures to protect their PCs from viruses. You can easily protect your PC from getting infected by a few easy steps:

  • Install anti-virus software and keep it updated
  • Enable firewall
  • Install anti-spy software


8- Go mobile, smartly

According to National Retail Federation, 5.7 per cent of adults use mobile devices to compare products before purchase. Do not be wary when using a mobile device for online shopping, but be aware of the apps you are using. Use only legitimate apps from popular sites like Souq, Jumia, etc. To know if the apps you are using for purchasing are legitimate or not, you can check the ratings, read reviews or search the app to check if there is a previous history of scamming.


9-  Do not believe

If it is too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a popup window that tells you “congrats, you have won an iPhone,” that does not mean you are lucky, it means that you are targeted by scammers. Be aware of any deals that seem to be too good to be true. Do not click on links you find suspicious, even if you received them from a friend or someone you know. Be skeptical about anything you see on the Internet or anything you receive via email or social media, anything could be a scam.


Extra general tips

* Sign out of your online shopping account after you make a purchase.

*Never ever send credit card information via email or post them on any of the social media sites.

*Use a separate browser for online shopping.

*Use a separate email account for your online shopping.

*When shopping on your mobile device or tablet, make sure it has a passcode. Also, if you are shopping from an app, check its credentials before you share your payment information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *