Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, which means one thing – DEALS!
In recent years, online shopping has replaced the traditional bargain-hunting queues. It may be more comfortable shopping while sitting on your sofa, but it brings its challenges. Scammers will be looking to take advantage of the biggest shopping event of the year by tricking unwitting online shoppers.
Luckily, by taking some precautions, you could avoid becoming a victim. Here is our rundown of signs to watch out for that ‘scream’ high-alert fraud. Plus top tips to secure yourself and enjoy the discounts during one of the most popular shopping events of the year.
Never click on a suspicious link
Scammers can target you with emails containing promotional links that appear to be from reputable retailers—attempting to trick you into clicking on a link that carries malicious malware. If the links look suspicious or you are not sure of the source of the email, do not open them. It’s better to go directly to the retailer’s website to check the offer.
Beware of phishing emails
Phishing emails look legitimate by design. They target popular destinations, such as retailers and banks, that are familiar and unassuming. They’ll ask to verify your login details. You can read more about avoiding email scams here.
Make sure the site is secure
The critical rule when shopping online is to check that you are on an encrypted page, which means that you should check that the page’s URL starts with “HTTPS.” The S means a level of security and trust. It also means preventing hackers from using specific techniques to steal your sensitive information.
Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi
Cyber attackers know how to highjack unsecured Wi-Fi to obtain access to your information. So, rather than logging in to a public Wi-Fi to shop for the latest deal, it is better to use the data plan on your phone, ensuring your financial information is safe.
Use a credit card or purchase with Apple Pay or Android Pay
Credit cards provide purchase protection should something go wrong such as your tour operator going into administration and is unable to refund your holiday. The most underrated features of Apple and Android Pay are their security. Tokens replace credit card data during transactions, therefore losing your phone doesn’t mean replacing your credit card.
Use complex passwords
The use of strong passwords is essential to protect your security and identity. Make sure your user passwords are at least eight characters long. A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and keyboard symbols such as @ # £ % ^ & * ( ) _ +. The more characters and symbols your passwords contain, the more difficult they are to guess.
Follow these security practices throughout the year. Pay particular attention during the holiday shopping season when cyber criminals increase their attempts to steal your online credentials or infect your system with malware.