Ecommerce has grown tremendously in Nigeria in the past five (5) years, as a result of this growth, there are various online shopping sites in Nigeria, and online shopping in Nigeria has taken a whole new dimension.
The most interesting development in the ecommerce market in Nigeria is the introduction of payment of delivery options on most ecommerce stores.
The pay on delivery option does not only increase Nigerians trust in Ecommerce, it also provide an avenue to see what you’re buying before making payment.
Although the number of reported fraud in the Nigeria ecommerce is not alarming as compared to other developed countries with cases of credit card fraud, it’s important to keep some safety measures in place when doing online shopping in Nigeria.
Here are safety measures to keep you safe when shopping online in Nigeria.
#1. Pay On Delivery:
Most popular ecommerce stores in Nigeria (konga, jumia, kaymu) now offer pay on delivery service that allows buyer to make payment only when their items are being delivered.
It’s advisable to take advantage of this option when it is available on the store. The pay on delivery option does not only protect your card details from exposure, it also allow you to actually confirm the specification of the item you’re buying rather than paying and stressing yourself with return shipping in-case the item isn’t what you really want.
#2. Use Virtual Card:
While I don’t know of other banks, Guarantee trust bank now offers a virtual card option that can be linked with your regular master card. The virtual card can be used once and deleted, and you can generate as much virtual card as you want from the same card.
When making purchase for item online using a public internet service or a public computer, using the virtual card option is the best way to prevent other users and hackers from having access to your card details.
#3. Shipping Address:
Nigeria addresses are not always specific, this makes it very easy to lose your package due to poor specification.
When shopping online in Nigeria, try as much as possible to be explicit when describing your residential address. You should also find a way of adding your mobile number just in-case there is a need for the delivery person to reach out to you when making delivery.
If you live outside the big cities of Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja etc.) it’s advisable to use a proxy address that is easily traceable rather than your residential address provided it’s not easily traceable.
#4. Step 2 Verification:
Although most banks don’t offer this option by default. I know GTbank usually require customers to enter a OTP (One time password) on the payment page when making payment online.
The OTP is automatically sent to the customer’s phone number associated with the bank account on which the transaction is about to occur.
So, if you don’t have the step 2 verification activated already, it’s advisable to visit the nearest branch of your bank and make inquires about how to activate this service. It does not incur additional cost on your account; so I see no reason why you shouldn’t activate it, especially when the benefits outweighs the disadvantages (if any at all)
You can also get a token device if your bank does not offer OTP on mobile line. It cost about two thousand naira to get a token device for your bank account.
#5. Use Familiar Website:
Don’t just input your card details on any website because you think it’s a “good deal”. Hackers have the reputation of cloning popular websites in other to acquire information from users.
To avoid falling victim of such incidence, shop only on trusted websites. Don’t access the website by clicking on links sent to you through email. Always input the url address of the site into your browser yourself. That way, you’d be sur you’re accessing the original site and not a cloned version.
Here is a list of popular online shopping site in Nigeria.
#6. Password Should Be Password:
I get it, you don’t want to forget your password, so you think using your name, or your date of birth would make it easy for you to remember. This is a really bad idea!
It’s supposed to be a password; something that cannot be easily guessed by a third party. Not your surname or date of birth.
When shopping on a site that stores your payment and shipping details and you’re required to create an account on the site, make sure you use a very strong password that is difficult to guess by your best friend.
It’s advisable to use upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Even if you forget the password over time, you can always use the “forgot password” option to recovery your password through your email address.
#7. Secure Your Computer and Browser:
Ensure your computer operating system is up to date. Malware and other infections on your computer might make your computer susceptible to phishing attempts by hackers.
Always use updated browsers and have an antivirus and malware protection software installed on your computer. Most of this software would alert you when you’re about to access an unsecured website.
#8. Https Not Http:
This might not make much difference to those that are not tech savvy but I would write about it either ways.
There are sites that are more secured because on additional security measure installed on the server hosting the site. Websites with https (take note of the “s”) are considered more secured because of the secure socket layer attribute of the server.
Don’t ever shop on a website without the “s”. Such sites are liable to server attack and as a result your details on their server might be at risk.