As Tanzania continues to undergo digital transformation, trends such as buying and selling online are also continuing to grow and become part of our everyday life. And with that comes the threat to online safety.
There are many people who are trying to scam you out of your money or steal your card details. Thankfully, if you follow a few precautions you can have a safe and secure online shopping experience.
Here are a few tips for you to take precautions while trying to buy online.
Make sure the website is secure, authentic, and well-known platforms: When it comes to online shopping, make sure you use a platform well known to people. You don't need to risk your information on a suspicious website. Make sure to look for a lock sign at the top left corner of your search bar while you are on the website. Also, pay attention to domain extensions and URLs. You can always ask your friends what websites they prefer to visit when they are looking for something to buy. Go where most people go.
Understand the type of platforms you are using. Is it a classified advertising platform or an e-commerce platform? If it is a classified platform like Kupatana in Tanzania, then you must know that payments occur offline or in person when a buyer and a seller decide to meet. But if it is e-commerce like Amazon, payments occur online via integrated systems like PayPal, Visa and more.
Know your rights and the company’s returns policy. Most companies include their policies on their websites. For example, Kupatana urges users not to pay in advance and that Kupatana never has anything to do with the transaction.
Use a credit card: You will have more protection using a credit card than using your bank details. I always buy things online using M-PESA Mastercard where I can load it with the exact amount I'm needed to pay.
All in all, be smart. If it looks too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Don't throw your hard-earned money and private information on a suspicious website.