Shopping Online is Safer than Offline Shopping if you think about it

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Whenever online shopping is mentioned Nigerians often express reservations about it. Our most common excuse for not shopping online is mostly the risk of online fraud. The risk of fraud while shopping online is real, but are our fears based on a thorough risk assessment of both online and offline shopping or are they skewed against online shopping?

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Do we only face risk when we shop online? Don’t we also take risks when we shop at the local market or shopping mall or supermarket? This article is a reality check. It will attempt to show that you are taking the ultimate risk when you shop offline. In a nutshell, shopping online can save your life.

Life is all about Risks

Risk is part of human existence. There is hardly any action taken by man that does not involve risk taking. Even when you think you are being careful, you also taking a risk by trusting your judgement, which could be wrong or biased. Human societies have learnt to cope with risks as a necessary part of our existence.

Shopping online comes with the risk of fraud, identity theft, and downloading harmful software to your device, but are these worse than the risks you ignore everyday when shopping at physical locations. I’m sure you are cracking your brain right now trying to figure out what those risks are:

The Risks you Ignore when you shop offline

Well, here is a brain bump.

  1. You could be run down by a car
  2. Your car could be stolen or involved in an accident
  3. You could enter a one-chance-bus: your possessions could be stolen, you could be raped, and if you are unlucky you could be killed for ritual or just for fun
  4. You could enter a 419-cab: You could be hypnotised into giving your life savings to total strangers
  5. Pick-pockets: People have lost wallets, money, and even purchased goods in the market
  6. A Plane Crash: People have died traveling long distances to physically buy items they could have simply ordered online
  7. A bomb blast: Though this is now in the down low in Nigeria in recent time, but crowds are usually target for terrorists and our markets and motor parks are usually their favourites.

Of course you could argue that these risks are farfetched, but that is exactly my point. They are as farfetched as the risk of having your money stolen when shopping online. Why do we remember risks when shopping online, but totally ignore them when shopping offline? Why do Nigerians hold online shopping to a different standard?

The sequel to this article attempt to show the real reason why Nigerians are not so pro online shopping. This article is just a preamble, to prove that the risk of losing our money is not (or should not be) the real reason for our online shopping phobia, because analysed objectively online shopping is safer than shopping at a physical location.

The worse that can happen when you shop online is that you lose your money, but offline you could lose your money, get serious body injury, or even die. So, next time you are judging online shopping, please be fair it is not that bad.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Shopping Online is Safer than Offline Shopping if you think about it was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: October 10th, 2017
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