Here's how to secure your online payments.

Here’s how to secure your online payments. Image: iStock

Safe shopping: Here’s how to secure your online payments

Prioritise worry-free shopping by following these essential tips to safeguard online payments and enhance your digital shopping experience.

Here's how to secure your online payments.

Here’s how to secure your online payments. Image: iStock

In a retail frenzy, South Africa has transformed Black Friday into an entire month of discounts, aptly named Black November. This retail extravaganza has gained immense popularity, with both retailers and consumers indulging in unprecedented bargains and making online payments.

Last year witnessed a shopping spree, with South African consumers splurging billions of rands both in physical stores and online.

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However, amidst the rush for unbeatable deals, a lurking threat has emerged—cybercriminals poised to exploit unsuspecting shoppers.

Exercising vigilance when making online payments

Doros Hadjizenonos, Regional Director for Southern Africa at Fortinet, issues a warning, emphasising the need for consumers to exercise vigilance in their purchasing practices. Cybercriminals, he cautions, are adept at stealing personal information, passwords, and even diverting payments to legitimate vendors.

ALSO READ: Black Friday: How to be safe while securing those online bargains

To counter these threats, Hadjizenonos recommends enhanced security measures for online payments. Trusted payment gateways, employed by online retailers, ensure that sensitive information remains secure.

These gateways handle transactions, preventing retailers from accessing customers’ card details or CVV numbers.

ALSO READ: Black Friday checklist: How to shop smart online

For an added layer of security, reputable payment partners actively monitor transactions for potential fraud. Many merchants redirect online transactions to customers’ bank apps for manual authorisation, reinforcing protection.

“If you want to ensure that a website is trustworthy, look for a padlock icon and a URL that starts with ‘https’. These are indicators that the website is using a secure payment gateway and taking your security seriously,” says Hadjizenonos.

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Banking app push notifications

In the realm of online purchases, the use of virtual cards emerges as a safeguard. Banks now offer virtual cards with regularly changing CVVs, enhancing security. In the event of compromise, obtaining a new virtual card proves relatively straightforward compared to physical cards.

Additionally, subscribing to banking app push notifications becomes crucial. This ensures consumers receive alerts for every transaction, regardless of its magnitude, empowering them to promptly address any suspicious activity.

As South Africans navigate the enticing realm of Black November, the call for heightened cybersecurity measures resonates, urging consumers to embrace secure payment practices to safeguard their digital transactions.