The Christmas countdown is now running down and you are probably one of the millions of shoppers planning to make their purchases online during this year’s holiday season. Sadly, it is also a time online scammers take advantage of – usually at your expense. According to a recently published report, online purchasing scams which expose your identity and empty all your savings are the most treacherous kind of consumer fraud. A recent Experian survey also discovered that 45% of victims told that their identity theft cases that happened during their online holiday shopping.
So how do you escape the holiday ruckus without putting your cybersecurity in jeopardy? Here are a few online shopping safety tips for this holiday season.
Beware of phishing schemes
Phishing is an extremely efficient technique used by online scammers which involves sending messages designed to look similar to a bank or a brand you admire. If we speak in general, these forwarded emails will encourage you to click on a link to a malicious site by tempting you with a great deal or a super low price. If you click this link, you are redirected to a fake landing page of the brand they are imitating. Usually, the scammer who made the page will try to get your login or payment information such as your credit card number.
Use Online Coupons
Stay away from all the hassle of cutting coupons and putting all of them inside your wallet until you can go to the correct stores by using online discount coupons. There are a lot of websites that provide you with a simple way to quickly look for promos and redeem deals for your gift coupons. Here are some websites you should consider promocode.com.ph/nike/ and sparpedia.at/about-you/.
Check Vendor Authenticity
Have found a website with the deal you were looking for? Assess the website to guarantee that the seller uses a secure website when processing the sale. One way to tell is there should be a letter “s” after the “http” when you look at the URL address found on the top of your web browser. Aside from this, there should be a locked padlock icon also found on the leftmost part of the URL address. If you can’t see these signs, it is suggested that you look for another seller that sells the item you like.
Only Use Official Retailer Applications
Mobile apps allow you shop for and purchase items while you’re on the go — making holiday shopping a breeze. But the danger arises if you unknowingly install an app laced with malicious software, or malware. Criminals use these apps to infiltrate smartphones and do any number of things, like direct users to fraudulent premium subscription services or automatically subscribing users to expensive content providers without the user’s consent.
Protect yourself against malicious mobile apps by only downloading apps from reputable stores, such as Galaxy Apps, the App Store, Amazon App Store and Google Play. Some providers, such as Google Play, scan apps for malware prior to publishing them on their store.
Never Use Free Wifi To Make Purchases
It is really enticing to shop on the go, especially during the holidays. However, if you are using free WiFi inside airports, hotels and coffee shops, the first thing you should do is to connect to a VPN. If you are using a private WiFi at home or your cellular data, there is no need to use VPN. VPNs encrypt all the traffic going in and out of your gadget, so no one can snoop any internet activity and steal any data you enter online such as your payment and login information.
One of the most convenient things about the internet is the abundance of data available. For instance, you can read customer reviews to verify if a seller is legit or not. Do they deliver on time? Are their products being marketed?
Look for reviews that don’t sound very angry and are not an isolated customer service misunderstanding. A couple of reviews should provide you with an idea of what to expect from the seller. Additionally, look for seals of approval by your local agencies to verify the seller’s reputation. If these data are difficult to find, it’s time to find another seller.