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There’s no need to spend hours at the mall. With online shopping, everything from groceries to Christmas lights and pool noodles can easily be bought with a quick swipe of your smartphone – you don’t even have to leave the house. Consider these tips to ensure you shop online safely.

A recent Mastercard survey has found that 68% of South Africans are shopping more online since the start of the lockdown. Shopping online is convenient and easy, but also open to risk if not done properly.

Shop online safely – follow these guidelines before you check out your virtual shopping cart.

  1. Only buy from reputable retailers or sites. Read reviews of the site before punching in your credit card details.
  2. On that note, pay with a credit card as banks are usually on the lookout for any suspicious activity.
  3. Make sure the site is secure. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky advises that, when in the shopping cart section or on the payment page, look at the address bar of your browser. It should say “https” and not “http” at the start of the URL, and there should be a small padlock symbol.
  4. Create strong passwords for your online shopping accounts and try and have a different one for each site.
  5. Never share your username and password.

Now that you are ready to shop safely, consider some of these popular, user-friendly online options:

  1. Takealot offers relatively quick delivery for a host of items, from books and toys to household goods and even medicine. Free delivery for orders of R450 and more.
  2. Cotton On boasts super quick delivery and an easy-to-use site makes this a winner. Sign up for the rewards programme and get cash off your next purchase.
  3. The Checkers’ Sixty60 app takes the slog out of grocery shopping – and you are guaranteed delivery within the hour. Download from the Apple App Store of Google Play.
  4. CartRun allows you to order items from Pick n Pay and Woolworths – with a speedier delivery time. It is also downloadable from the App Store or Google Play.
  5. Looking for fresh produce, baked goods, vegan options or meal kits? supports local suppliers to offer high quality goods delivered to your door.
  6. Kidzone is ideal for last-minutes gifts for children of all ages.
  7. RunwaySale is an online fashion retailer that hosts limited sales of more than 300 high-end fashion brands. The sales change regularly and feature merchandise from a single brand or a group of brands at affordable prices.
  8. Faithful to Nature sells authentically natural and organic products. Free delivery for orders of more than R400.
  9. Make sure you never run out of pet food. Set up an “auto order” with Absolute Pets and never get caught (cat)napping when it comes to keeping the pet food cupboard stocked.
  10. Yuppiechef is your go-to site for gifts and specialised household items. Delivery is swift and the signature note and branded magnet has become synonymous with Yuppiechef’s service offering.

For more on using online platforms as a place to learn – click here