Online Shopping Safety

South Africa has seen a significant growth in online shopping in the last few years with year on year growth of 22%.  This growth sounds a lot but only 1% of all sales transactions in South Africa are done online, well behind the rest of the world.

One of the biggest concerns about online shopping, especially in South Africa, is security and at Metro Home City we take that seriously, so here are some tips we would like to share to keep you safe.

The Lock Symbol

browser-padlock-symbolA website with a URL that begins with https://  will often have a lock symbol showing in the browser.  This represents a secure website and means it is safe to transact on this website. If the site does not show as being secure if may be less safe to use and should ideally be avoided.


Up to date browser

Browsers are updated regularly for your security.  It is advisable to ensure your browser on the device you are using to shop with is kept up to date.  The organisations that develop browsers are often one step ahead of many people when it comes to online security.

Password is not a Password

A weak password such as “Password123” is not a strong password. Using a strong password that is equally easy to remember is a way of adding security to your online account with the growing number of online stores. You should also update your passwords regularly and never use the same password for multiple websites or accounts.

Look out for scams

A fake email from any vendor is often difficult to distinguish from the real thing.  Your own antivirus and just careful reading of emails is often all that is needed to keep you safe. Don’t just click on a hyperlink, and if you are in anyway unsure use caution or even phone the vendor for assurance.

Multi-level bank card security


ADPF79 Generic credit card picture

The banks have woken up to online retailing and have implemented stronger security around their cards.  Using OTP’s (One Time Pin) the banks can authenticate you as the card holder and ensure your card is not being abused. OTPs may seem a little annoying but they really are your best friend when it comes to online shopping and safety.

 Transact on a secure network

Free Public Wi-Fi is becoming more common and there is a growing need to use caution when using a public Wi-Fi network.  You should only use trusted Wi-Fi hotspots or networks to do online shopping.

Shop where you have shopped before

Many online shoppers return to the same retailer. To avoid typing in the incorrect website address save the URL in your favourites and it will make it easier to return.  If you have had a good experience before you can almost be certain you will again.


Metro Home City is a safe place to shop; we take our security as seriously as we do yours.