Hey Users! As we are heading towards this year’s Christmas and welcoming New Year 2018, we’re pretty sure the shopping rush would have already begun. You will be finding lots of offers to shop online.
But hold on, don’t rush to it. There are many security tips that you need to know before you take out that Credit Card and start shopping. As we all know Cybercriminals are always a step ahead to loot your money and take away your happiness.
Here are some tips before you go online for shopping so that you stay secure from all the creepy cybercriminals
- GET TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL AND FAKE ONLINE ADDRESS
People are buying goods from fake websites which are created by hackers.
Hackers set up their own fake websites for shopping, those websites can infect you the moment you click on an image or trying to download something or on malicious links.
The dangerous aspect you should concern about is Checkout process.
While completing the checkout process, attacker/hacker will get the important information: Credit card data with PIN number, name and address. This leads to Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud or Social Engineering attacks.
GIVEAWAYS THAT A SHOPPING SITE IS FAKE:
- Strange URL: as ‘The-bestonlineshopping.co.in’ or ‘at-awesome-price.net’.
- Strange selection of brands: for example, website is for clothing but they are trading about car accessories or other products.
- Strange contact information: as ‘[email protected]’ instead of ‘[email protected]’.
2. ACCESS SECURE SHOPPING SITES THAT PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION
Whenever you want to purchase online, make sure it has SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption enabled.
To get to know this, the site should start with https:// and also notice the lock symbol in the address.
To access secure websites always, add browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere, that encrypts connection to major sites and increase your information security.
3. STAY SAFE USING SECURED CONNECTION
Of late, Wi-Fi has become a most important thing than food or water to most of us. But we got to understand that even Wi-Fi has some serious limitations, in terms of security.
Always have secured connection, an unsecured connection will allow a hacker to intercept all of your traffic and see everything you are doing on an online shop in real time (Checkout information, password, email, address and so on).
- Careful when the connection is open and doesn’t have a password.
- Simple encryption language can be easily broken so use WEP/WPA encryption.
- If the router is at an exposed location, people may come and tamper it.
- WPA2 AES gives vastly better protection than WEP/WPA.
Never do online shopping when you are on an open Wi-Fi network with no password.
4. KEEP YOUR APPS & KNOWLEDGE UPDATED
Make sure you have your browsers, anti-viruses and Operating Systems updated.
As Hackers more often target the outdated versions to launch their attacks.
Unpatched software is a cause of malware infections. Only you, as an online shopper, is most at risk.
An updated browser will help you to secure your cookies and cache, while preventing data leakage.
So for any loophole/vulnerability, vendors will release an update/patch. You must be updated with them.
5. HAVE AN EAGLE EYE ON YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
Why are hackers targeting online e-commerce sites?
Well, it’s obvious that they would want to target users and their payment card details, and the e-commerce sites are the best place for them to get their hands on that information.
Credit card information leak are not always your mistake, companies get hacked and all information will be in hacker’s hand. For this reason, periodically review your bank account and check up on any suspicious activity.
Security tips for this:
- Never give chance to anyone to see your Credit card number.
- Don’t keep the PIN number of the credit card with the credit card.
- Once you have read any bank statement, just destroy or delete it.
- Try to activate two-factor authentication payment methods.
- Immediately lock your credit card if you lose them.
6. DO NOT FORGET TO HAVE ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION FOR PC
By using good anti-virus, you are comparatively safe when you are online, Anti-Virus will block the threats out there, keep you safe from malware and other malicious attacks & anything suspicious. But also, Anti-virus has one major disadvantage, it is reactive. It will become effective after a malware has arrived on your PC. So the solution is using any tool that can block an incoming malware before it comes to your PC.
Use an advanced traffic scanner, it will filter incoming and outgoing traffic to PC and detect malware.
7. YOUR SHOPPING ACCOUNTS SHOULD BE SECURED WITH PASSWORD MANAGER
Most people reuse the same password for each account, which is a major security risk. A password manager will simplify and secure your login process, which helps you to come up with more secure password automatically.
8. BEWARE OF SPAM OR PHISHING EMAILS
Phishing is a form of Social Engineering Attack to steal sensitive information by an attacker.
Attacker’s goal is to compromise systems to get usernames, passwords, and other data such as financial and so on.
Fake offers may come through the mail, such as the attacker will show some exciting offers with a Call To Action button for ‘BUY NOW’ or ‘ORDER NOW’. When you click, that’s when the attack begins.
Those emails which don’t look like standard email probably will go to Spam, so don’t consider whatever gets filtered to Spam.
9. MAINTAIN A RECORD OF YOUR TRANSACTIONS
If you are a user who always goes shopping online then it’s quite difficult for you to remember from which site you bought certain things.
So keep track of websites you are using and write it down what you bought, when and from which site.
Compare spending details with the bank records from online banking account.
10. DON’T GIVE MORE DETAILS TO E-COMMERCE SITES THAN NEEDED
In order to shop online, you need to provide some personal information such as work address or home address (location) and the credit card or debit card details.
Be alert of online shops that ask information such as Date of birth, SSN number (social security number) or any other similar information they don’t need in order to sell you things.
11. TAKE CARE OF RECEIPTS AND DESTROY IT WHEN NOT NEEDED
Keep the receipts of your purchases, it helps for warranty and returns issues.
If you don’t take care of your receipts, it may lead to identity thief, so destroy it when you don’t need it anymore so no one will be able to find any little information about you.
12. BUY FROM A MOBILE DEVICE, NOT FROM PC
Applications are more secure online shopping channels than websites since malicious hackers need to create specific attacks for the specific application. As such mobile applications are comparatively the safest way to buy online.
13. DON’T KEEP TOO MUCH INFORMATION ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
Now a day, each and every one store lots of personal information on their phone, and most of us don’t make time to secure that information. Increasingly people shop online using their mobile phones but it has its own risks. Fake online shops can harm your Smartphone with malicious malware, and then have access to information such as phone numbers, notes, photos etc
That’s why you keep only some necessary information on your phone and instead rely on offline storage or cloud solutions.
14. USE A CREDIT CARD, NOT A DEBIT CARD FOR SHOPPING
Credit cards have extra-legal defences that make them safer when compare to debit cards.
If you report a Credit Card Fraud in a timely manner, then you’re not liable if someone does fraudulent credit card transactions. Anyhow, it’s the bank’s money, not yours.
Moreover you can’t get money back unless the seller agrees to it in debit cards, but it’s not like this with credit cards.
Banks are more protective of credit cards since it is their money, not yours.
So, with all this Tips & Tricks, we hope it would help you to shop online safe & securely.
We wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy and Safe Shopping…!!!