Security tips when buying and selling online (for e-commerce)

The article covers security and safety tips to observe when buying or selling online. According to mondaq millions are lost business owners due to issues that relate to cyber security. This is only on the monetary aspect.

Sometimes, we also depend on what we buy online either goods or services since we find it more convenient. Most of us can not do without ordering items from the internet. A lot of people are being scammed for trying to buy time on the internet. People have paid for items that are never delivered.

 And sometimes many of these people who call us are strangers. Many of these people are first time people that we have never met before in our lives. And because our businesses are online, and our phone numbers are out there, we might just get a call one day from a total stranger requesting us to come to the house to make their hair, do their makeup, cook for them clean their house, or even deliver goods that they have purchased from our online stores.

And sometimes these people have bad intentions. Unfortunately, we have to make a living and so we have to take risky chances that could put our lives in danger.

Importance of safety and security for online buyers and sellers

Some months ago, a young girl the name of Joy was said to have gone to deliver some clothes and shoes that some clients ordered from her online business only for her to be raped and murdered.

It was reported that her mother tried to call her phone several times, but our phone line kept reading busy. This was after many hours of her not coming back home.

After the mother reported to the police, they had to wait 24 hours. And after 24 hours, the police began to search. And a few days later, her body was found dumped by roadside in North Bank, Benue State, Nigeria.

Stories like this are reported even in the United States (US), the UK and other countries beyond Africa. There was a young girl called Joy who was trying to make a living from online customers when all of a sudden a group of bloodthirsty people placed an order and made her come to their house to deliver these goods, only for them to kidnap her abuse or rape her and then kill her.

 Joy is not the first person to have gone through this. And sadly, she might not be the last person there are a lot of us who run online businesses there are a lot of us, who depend on people to call us to come to the house to render our services for us to make a living. 

 But today, we will be sharing some tips that could be useful to you if you are one of those people who have to go to people’s houses to render services to make a living. If you follow these tips, it will be useful and helpful to preventing such tragic situations from happening to you.

Security and safety tips when selling online (e-commerce owners)

Request for full address

 Just like other safety measures at home, now, the first thing you want to do whenever someone calls you to come to their house for you to render your services to them is to request their full address.

 A lot of vendors, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people who run online businesses, a lot of people who go to people’s houses to run their businesses don’t request full addresses. And the trick a lot of these bad people use is that they don’t give you the full details of their address. They just tell you to come to a generic bus stop.

And from there, they will send someone who will come and pick you up or they will direct you from there to the place or they will come and pick you up themselves. And that is a very risky thing to do. Since we are the business owners, and they are the clients, and we don’t want to ask them questions, or make them feel uncomfortable, we just play their rules.

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 But the smart thing to do whenever someone you don’t know requests your services, is to ask for a full address – the street number, the street name, the community, the area, have this address,  even if they have to come and pick you from a junction, even if that they must have to come and carry you from a particular spot to their house.

Though some areas and some addresses are a little bit not straightforward, is still good, you have the full address to where you’re going. And one of the reasons why you have the full address is to give it to your loved ones to give it to your family members those at home to let them know that this is where you’re going to.

Another reason why you’re having that full address is for you to cross-check. On your way there. When you stand at the bus stop and someone is coming to pick you up to take you to the house or the place where you’re going to render these services of yours you can cross-check with your phone, you can cross-check with the address that you are giving to see if it tallies with where you are going to.  

Now, when you go into the place and you notice that the address that they sent to you does not match where you are going to, the name of the street does not match what was written in the text, or the number at the gate is not the same number written for you then you know you have your red flag and you know that you don’t have to continue the journey, you can always take a step back and go back to where you’re coming from.

And when you request the full address and the client refuses to give you that is a red flag. You don’t have to continue the business with them. You don’t have to go render your services. Everybody’s looking for money, but no amount of money is worth your life.

Get a picture of your client or customers

The second thing you can do is get a picture of them. Request a video call so you can know the person you’re coming to meet in the face. If you can not get a video call request for their social media handle so you can have a picture of who you’re going to meet and also provide this picture to your family members and loved on at home.

Now if these people don’t have pictures, or they refuse to show you their face because they want to make up excuses. You have something to be worried about. It’s something for you to worry about, which means your security alert should be at a high level.

Get the full names of your clients

Getting the full names of your client is also important. If you’re going to render services to someone in their homes and you don’t know their full names is a red flag. You have to get their full government’s names, that way you know where you’re going to you know who you’re going to meet. And you can also leave those details back home to your family, any client who calls for your services and is reluctant to give you these details of their name, or show their face in a video call, means that they have something to hide. And it also means that that is a red flag.

Identify them first while in an unknown area 

Another thing that you can also do is to be very careful, this only happens to people who get robbed or attacked, or just plainly abused, if you’re going to an area that you’re not very familiar with. And you’re asked to wait at a particular bus stop or point so that someone will come and pick you up at the place you’re going to walk.

Usually, they call you on the phone and ask you what are you wearing, the smart thing to do is not give them that details. Because you don’t come into an area that you don’t know, instead of telling them what you’re wearing request to know what they’re wearing.

That way, once they give it to you, you can also be the one to spot them first. It’s good at you spot whoever is coming to speak first. That way you can know if they’re armed, or if they’re with a group of people that you’re not comfortable with. Or if it’s someone that you probably know from a previous post that might want to set you up or put you in danger. That way you can take on your heels and run away.

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So whenever you’re in a situation when someone asks you what are you wearing. The safest thing to do is not give out that details. Since you’re coming to walk since they’re coming to pick you up ask them what they’re wearing. And if they can’t give you that detail, if they’re so reluctant to tell you what they’re wearing.

So you can identify them, then you have a red flag, they have nothing to be afraid of. They called for your services. So they should identify themselves. First, you have to see whoever is coming to pick you first before they see you. So whenever you’re in a situation where they ask you, what are you wearing, please do not give out that details. So quick. Let them be warm to describe themselves.

So you can identify them, and go and meet them and introduce yourself to them. If from a distance you feel safe with them you feel that, Okay, this looks harmless, you can go ahead and introduce yourself to them that you’re the one that comes to render the services.

After the time when these people ask you what you’re wearing, they identify you and you’re at the bus stop, they can see you but you can’t see them before you know a group of guys is coming to harass you, before you know a group of people are coming to steal from you, Rob you beat you and accuse you of something you didn’t do. That is how many people have been set up, bullied or harassed, robbed and even killed.

So whenever you get a phone call to come somewhere to render your services, and you are not sure of this person. And they asked you to wait at a stop. And they tell you to identify yourself with what you’re wearing. Don’t give out that detail.

Let your client know you have an edge

 Now let’s assume you’ve gone to the place you’ve met the people everything is looking like it’s perfect. Everything is looking like it’s alright, everything is looking safe.

The next thing that you can do is let them know that their details, their pictures, their phone numbers and their address have been given to your family at home. And they are aware of where you are. That way even if they still have a bad plan. Even if they still have something in mind to do to you. It would restrain them, it will let them know that somebody knows you’re here, people are going to find us they have our details. And that is about the details they give you corresponds with where you’re going to and what they look like then you know that these people are going to be very careful with you and they will not want to hurt you because now they know that other people know that you’re there and have their pictures and names and addresses.

So whenever you go somewhere else to render your service, let the people know that hey, sorry but my family know I’m here, I give them your pictures, I give them your number. I give them your address. I hope you don’t mind, letting them know that you’re there. If they have a problem with it. Just know that that’s a red flag. But if you don’t have a problem with it then your safety is more assured than normal.

Trust your instincts

Now the last thing you want to do is trust your instincts. Whenever you’re going to render services at people’s homes or people’s preferred locations. Always listen to your mind. Trust your instincts with every step of the journey. Listen to your mind.

Our instincts are there to guide us. And if you feel bad energy, if you feel that something is off, you feel that something is not right. Go back home. Don’t proceed, don’t continue. Our instincts are there to guide us. And when we ignore it, a lot of us fall into this trap. No amount of money is worth your life.

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Watch out for dummy SMS

The growth in technology and innovation has its bad side. Weird to imagine how you can receive a credit alert yet without receiving credit in your account. This is now a new trend in online scams. You may receive an SMS with the name of your bank in it but it’s fake. After getting an alert from a customer upon making a sale follow up checking your bank balance either through USSD or your bank App.

Safety tips for online customers and buyers

Insist on escrow

For those that may not understand what escrow is, an escrow act like a middle facility that holds a sum of money for buyer and seller until services or goods have been provided with the buyer will request for the release of fund.  It provides a form of security for both buyer and seller.

 Is like Mr B asking Mr C to hold the money or payment for a certain product and release it only after Mr A has provided such product or services as requested.

It becomes an issue or raises suspicion of the seller refused to make use of escrow especially if the buyer is willing to pay for the escrow fee.

 A lot of people had gone ahead to make payment after seeing certain products online but they never got the product delivered to them. This account for the reason why is better to only shop online with reputable buyers. Buy from renowned brands, tried and tested.  Be wary of buying from unknown brands. Instead insist on escrow before buying from them.

You may go ahead and even vet a new seller. Do online research about the sellers. Find out the sort of reviews people have kept for this seller etc.

Don’t save cards on a shopping site

Regardless of how hurry you may want to make a purchase online, it is never a good idea to save your payment card on a shopping site. Keeping your card saved can make it easy for another person to place an order for items from a website without your knowledge.

Immediately after making a purchase online make sure to immediately delete your card and place its bank when making payment some other time.

Exercise extra cautions for deals that appears too good

This is a big pointer that online customers must not overlook. Online scammers often find it hard to attract victims. So, the best way they can use to draw your attention is through deals that appear to be a big giveaway. If we can think through this closely we will understand such deals are unrealistic and not sustainable.

Remember, it is very for almost anyone to place an advert on Facebook, Instagram, etc Most of the posters of this advert are unverified. Thus, such a profile can easily be deleted and you will have no one to hold accountable.

 Use VPN for public Wi-Fi

It’s easy for hackers to spy on your online activities while you are using a public network. In process of engaging in online shopping, you provide vital information about your address, name, card number and PIN.

You may want to opt for a VPN while using public Wi-Fi. VPNs are Virtual Private Networks. With one VPN cybercriminals will not be able to intercept your network to access these pieces of information.

Only shop on SSL enabled Site

Always look out for the black locked padlocked sign at the address bar of your browser. If the padlock has a red line on it then it’s a red flag. You can go ahead and hover your mouse on the button or even click it to get more information.

An SSL site has the “HTTPS” sign on it before the main address while the unsecured site has only “HTTP” i.e without the ” s” Sites without valid SSL certificates are unsecured, thus, it is very easy for hackers to intercept information from such sites such as Passwords.

Avoid clicking and providing useful information via emails and links. When you have useful information it is in your best interest to address it with your financial institution rather through emails and links.

When looking through the exact name on this URL using the address bar. Often if we look through these details we will notice such links are spams.

So thank you guys for reading through. We hope this helps someone out there to be very careful while they go about their businesses. If you know anyone who is in this field of home service, share this with them as this might help them to be safe and alert. If you also have any safety tips that could help people who go to people’s to buy or sell service after meeting online feel free to share it in the comment below. People are reading.  People need to be saved and you don’t know who you might be helping.  Let’s all be safe and let’s all go about our business in the smartest way possible that will keep us alive and away from the hands of these evil people.

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