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5 tips for a secure online shopping experience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Oskar Ehrnström / April 02, 2020

The Corona virus has, among other things, transferred also shopping to take place online. However, retailers and consumers are not the only ones increasing their activities online.

This is also a buffet table for cybercriminals. False web pages that capture credit card information, fraud, phishing, fake shopping sites, etc. are created to exploit people's fears and good will, to steal their 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.

1. Pay attention to the network

If you are not at home, pay attention to which wifi you are connecting to. Do you have the tendency of connecting to a free wifi? 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 never use public computers for online shopping.

2. Select apps with care

Did you know that there are fake apps that mimics the official Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker to take advantage of our interest in Corona? Carefully review what permissions an app requires. Is it really necessary for an app that presents a visualization of the global distribution of the new Corona virus, to have access to your pictures, GPS position, camera and contacts? Some apps even wantspermission to record every keystroke on your phone. That includes any credentials or credit cards data typed.

3. Surf safely

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. A trustworthy VPN service is also a good option if you have to use public networks.

When you need to make online payments, make sure it is https://www.shop.com and not http://www.shop.com. It will also appear a small padlock in the address bar.

Example: https://www.tieto.com/en/what-we-do/managed-services-and-integration/security-services/

4. Be careful of unknown online stores

If you shop in an online store that's new to you, there are things to keep in mind. In  times of crisis, also many fradulent online shops have appeared that market facemasks, hand sanitizers and other medical supplies. Even if the website appear trustworthy, you should check if the company exists or delivers the goods you have intended to buy.

Do not click on banners in emails or on the web if you are not completely sure that the sender is legitimate. 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.

5. Secure payment

The web shop should use secure payments together with Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Swish 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 can proceed with your online shopping securely.

Take the test!

Are you able to detect what's wrong with these addresses?

www.kjeII.com

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

dhl.amazondeliveryservice.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.

www.ritua.ls

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.

www.zalando.webpromotion.io

This address should be construed as leading to Zalando but is actually owned by webpromotion.io. Who is behind that domain?

 

 

 

Oskar Ehrnström
Lead Business Development Manager

With over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, and with 11 of those as a leader and trusted advisor within cybersecurity, Oskar Ehrnström drives business innovation and transformation within Tieto Security Services.

Author

Oskar Ehrnström

Lead Business Development Manager

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