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How To Stay Safe Online When Shopping On Classified Ads

How To Stay Safe Online When Shopping On Classified Ads

Shopping on classified ads is becoming increasingly popular.

This is because Classified ads offer you the opportunity to sell and buy goods & services with ease.

However, it’s important to be mindful of how we shop, particularly how we put personal information out there

Here are a few tips to help you get through safe shopping on classified ads websites


Top 18 Ways to Stay Safe Online When Shopping on Classified Ads


  1. Shop only where you can trust

It is important to do online business only with retailers/businesses you can trust. Trusted platforms like (which is Nigeria’s top classified ads website) offer a verified platform for its many sellers and you can be sure your personal information is safe and secure at all times. This personal information won’t be shared with any third party and all your information is stored securely as well


  1. Check out Basic Site Security

Never ever, ever buy anything online using your personal debit or credit information from a site that doesn’t have secure website encryption (lock). You will easily know if the site has an SSL (Secure sockets layer) because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS instead of just HTTP. An icon in the form of a locked padlock will display, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar. HTTPS is a standard protocol easily recognizable anywhere


  1. Check out the Vendor/Business

Do you know you can thoroughly check out a business or a specific vendor before going ahead to do business? Particularly when it’s a vendor or merchant you have never done business with before. You can check out customer reviews, what do people say about the merchant? Do they have a social media following across several platforms such? You can even directly contact the business. If there is no email address, phone number, or physical address for that matter that could be a big red flag


  1. Beware of very low price offers

If a classified ads site offers something that looks good to be true, like extremely low prices or an endless supply of free stuff, then it probably is. You can check similar websites to compare prices and also check pictures and other info pertaining to the merchandise, as the business may not always have those items in stock. The website hosting such business may exist only to get your personal information


  1. Do not overshare information

Beware of sharing too much information. Most websites would ask you for personal information including card details when registering or making payments. Only the required information should be shared wherever necessary



  1. Avoid Public WIFI


WI-FI networks typically use airwaves that are public. Identity thieves and information grabbers with a little technical know-how can feast and gather info made available through the use of websites on a public WIFI. Whenever you are using a public WIFI, it is, therefore, advisable to avoid shopping online


  1. Strong passwords are the way to go!

If someone has the password to your account, they can log in, change the shipping address, and order things while you get stuck with the bill!

You can keep your account safe by locking it with a strong password. Here are some quick tips below to do this:

  • Use a complex set of lowercase and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Avoid words that come from a dictionary.
  • Don’t use personal information that others can find or guess, such as birthdates, your kids’ names, or your favorite color.
  • And don’t use the same password—however strong—on multiple accounts.


  1. Keep records & Details

Always keep records and details of purchases (invoices, receipts, tracking numbers, etc.).  If you have a problem with the order, this information will help the merchant resolve the problem.

  1. Report! Report! Report!

You can always report suspicious activities to a classified ads website support/help email whenever you seem to be having issues. Reporting is a very important tool that can be quite helpful.

In Nigeria for example, you can also report issues to a regulatory body like Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (formerly known as Consumer Protection Council). The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is the apex consumer protection agency in Nigeria. The Commission was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act (FCCPCA) (Cap. 25, Laws of The Federation 2004). The overall mandate of the Commission is to protect consumers by taking both preventive and remedial measures. Bodies like FCCPC would not hesitate to take up whatever issues might arise in the course of you conducting business online legally


  1. Only use a secure payment method

It’s of utmost importance to be sure of the payment method available for use when using a classified ad. A classified ads platform uses a secure payment gateway that allows you securely pay for ad subscriptions by using your card details without fear of compromise of any form. Isn’t that so cool?


  1. Be safety conscious and avoid scams

Every good classified ads website has a list of do and don’ts tailored specifically to help both sellers and buyers, particularly when it comes to safety reasons when they meet. Never ever hesitate when it comes to following these rules. See a quick list below :

  1. Do not make payment to anyone you have not met in person
  2. Meet only in public places
  3. Avoid accepting cheques
  4. Transactions are between users only, we do not provide any guarantees
  5. Never give out your ATM card details
  6. Be careful when the ‘deal seems too good to be true’

You can check out more tips here on how to avoid scams

  1. Email Safety


Be wary of emails asking you to confirm your account or a password or email address change that wasn’t asked for in the first place. These are typically phishing emails (the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit/debit card numbers) by scammers trying to gain access to your account. Email safety is very key


  1. Avoid SMS/Text Message Scams


Phone numbers are usually expected to be listed when you post ads on a classified ads website. Still, be wary of how you respond to them. For example, as a seller, be conscious when you receive messages from would-be buyers. When you are not absolutely certain of such messages/requests, contact the classified ads website directly to allay your fears and be certain about the request been genuine and all.


  1. Avoid third party site visits request


When a would-be seller asks you as a buyer via a classified ads website to use a third party site to carry out transactions, it is a red flag. Always be cautious when you receive such requests after communicating with the would be a seller


  1. Do your Homework


Be sure to check a seller’s reputation when you visit a classified ads website. Check the seller well and read comments before buying a product or initiating contact.  You can always ask questions of a seller and the reputable ones keen on doing genuine business will ideally reply in minutes. It is also important to read products description thoroughly so you know what you are actually getting. The description should typically include Seller’s location, Shipping charges if any, the current state of the product (whether new or used item), refund/return policy, etc.

  1. Stay Safe online by Protecting your Computer/Mobile Devices from different viruses

Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams and help keep your personal information safe.

  1. Beware of false advertising and phony websites

If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.

  1. Always trust your guts when shopping on classified ads websites. You can always reach out to the support/help page to clarify concerns, questions you might have. It is never a bad thing to ask for help in whatever form

https:/ is not only secure, it guarantees you peace of mind. It allows you to post free classified ads in Nigeria. There are different available categories ranging from the latest Job vacancies in Nigeria, to Fashion Designs, Cars,  to Nigerian Books with a wide range of topics, to allowing you buy phones online, Buy Laptops online (e.g Apple Laptop). You can also buy home appliances, to Designer Clothing and many more.

We believe the above tips will benefit you greatly and you will certainly find it useful Remember, online safety is key; it’s of utmost importance to do everything possible to stay safe at all times.

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