eBusiness service provider iGroup has warned that online shoppers seeking festive season gifts for friends and family may be left out of pocket by criminals who steal credit card data.
The group, which runs secure e-commerce websites for many reputable South African retailers, has seen a massive rise in online shopping over the festive season, but MD Marc Seymour is concerned that not all websites where shoppers may find festive season bargains are as trustworthy.
“It’s vital to make sure that the website that is asking for your credit card details is a reputable online retailer,” said Seymour. “Don’t buy goods through websites you’ve never heard of – they might not have the kind of security systems in place to protect your card data.”
iGroup’s systems, used by trusted online retailers such as Nu Metro cinemas, SA Camera, Autostyle and CUM Books, are tested to ensure that users’ card data is not stolen, explained Seymour. “Our hosting systems are strictly controlled and tested hourly for vulnerabilities or security breaches.”
Seymour said that when landing on a web page that is asking a user for their credit card details, it is important to ensure that the user’s web browser indicates the presence of a secure website. “It depends on the browser you’re using, but most browsers will indicate the presence of an SSL certificate by inserting a coloured verification block in front of the URL.”
“Making online purchases from an internet café is also a big no-no,” said Seymour. “Many internet café computers are infected with spyware which logs keystrokes, so it is easy for criminals to hack your card data or login details and then use them to commit fraud.”
“The important thing is to look for a brand you trust before buying things online. Support South African online retailers wherever possible and use sites that have a proven track record and a good reputation for online shopping safety. SA retailers are having plenty of promotions online that are not available in-store, so it won’t be hard to find gifts online at great prices from a reputable South African brand.”