‘Tis the season for festivities, and of course, a lot of shopping online. But there are also cyber crooks and hackers hanging around the web to kill your holiday cheer. They’re looking for easy targets for phishing, ransomware, credit card fraud, identity theft, and other cybercrimes.
So, before you begin typing in your credit card details to grab that coffee maker you wanted, take a moment to check if all is okay, and stay safe while shopping online.
Be cautious of suspicious links in email
Too-good-to-be-true deal from a new, unheard online retailer? Make sure it isn’t a phishing attempt!
With phishing, the cybercriminals aim to steal one’s credit card details or bank account information or usernames and passwords to different services. Once these details are obtained, the criminals can use it for malicious purposes, such as hacking, identity theft, or financial fraud. Here’s how you can identify phishing attacks and protect yourself against them.
Use a VPN on public Wi-Fi
Free public Wi-Fi is ubiquitous now and most convenient. However, most public wireless networks lack proper security leaving users exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks and other nefarious ways for hackers to snoop in your information.
If you are shopping, and hence putting out your credit card details, while on public Wi-Fi, get yourself a VPN and keep your communication safe and under the radar.
Beware of malicious pop-ups
Although most modern browsers take care of annoying pop-ups, web developers have been able to work out those within the page you’re visiting.
If you are not on a credible shopping site, some of these pop-ups can be malicious and lead to you to websites masquerading as regular online retailers but set up to steal sensitive information or add unwanted items to your cart.
Transact only on secure websites
While shopping online confirm that you are browsing on an HTTPS website. Never submit your credit card details or any sensitive information on a non-secure website.
Just check the URL to find out if it uses HTTPS instead of HTTP – the former indicates a secure website. By being vigilant, you can avoid sending data to websites in an unsafe manner.
Use a Password Manager
Much has been said about the need for strong and unique passwords. Yet, every publicized data breach incident reveals that many people still opt for weak passwords.
This can be prevented, of course, by using a password manager, like Enpass. With a password manager, you can generate a strong and complex password, and autofill it whenever required – without the need of memorizing it ever.
So, make sure you follow these simple measures and make your online shopping experience a safe one. And while we’re here, Happy Holidays!