Black Friday is coming up, and around the corner is Christmas; two of the most intensive shopping periods of the year.
However, retailers and consumers are not the only ones preparing for this peak. This is also a buffet table for cybercriminals. False web pages that capture credit card information, fraud, phishing, fake shopping sites, etc. are all designed to steal your personal information.
So, in addition to checking the balance on your credit card and writing shopping lists, you also need to take certain security precautions before going into e-shopping mode. If done correctly, shopping online is convenient and easy– and safe.
Here are 5 tips on how to make your online shopping a bit safer.
Where are you, physically? Are you connected to Wifi and, if so, which Wifi network? If is it called "Free Wifi" or something similar, then you should consider whether to do shopping on that network. It may be a criminal who set up the wifi network to listen to your traffic and capture your personal information. And don’t use public computers for online shopping.
During this high shopping season, be careful not to download any apps that you are unsure of. This is especially true for Android phones. We have seen an increase in fake apps that tries to take advantage of our desire “find a bargain”. Keep to the official app stores and review what permissions an app requires. Some apps want permission to record every keystroke on your phone. That includes any credit card data typed.
Make sure your devices are up to date and protected with commercial security products. For example, a security product may contain virus protection, firewall with intrusion protection, web filter, and phishing protection.
When you need to make online payments, make sure it is https://www.shop.com and not http://www.shop.com. It will also show a small padlock in the address bar.
If you shop in an online store that's new to you, there are things to keep in mind. Do not click on banners in your email or on the web if you do not really trust it. Before you click, hover over the banner and review the link. You will then be able to read the entire address. Does the address look strange (for example, contains many special characters or some letters have been replaced)? If yes, do not click. When looking for what you want to buy, check out the ratings and reviews of the online store on a couple of different external sites.
Other things like poor language or exceptionally attractive offers are also signals that you should listen to.
The web shop should use secure payments together Visa, Mastercard and / or direct payment from the online bank. And don’t forget to check your bank account statement to look for deviant transactions.
Remember these simple tips, and you will lessen the risk that Black Friday and Christmas trade will be an expensive story, at least as a result of cybercrime.
Are you able to detect what's wrong with these addresses?
Here is the lower case L changed to the upper case I. When written in all upper-case, it actually looks like this: WWW.KJEII.COM
It’s easy to think that this is a legitimate site to track your delivery, but it’s probably a site that distributes malware. Go through the shop site or the logistics site to track your delivery.
Here, the Lesothic top-level domain is used to trick the reader into believing that the link leads to Rituals official website (www.rituals.com). Be careful of different top-level domains.
This address should be construed as leading to Zalando but is actually owned by webpromotion.io. Who is behind that domain?
Data from: Brottsförebyggande Rådet