It’s the holiday season once again, and people nowadays are turning to online shopping for their best buys. Cybercriminals, meanwhile, are always working hard to trap their next victim.
Be wise and cautious. Avoid getting scammed by following these simple tips to help keep you safe while shopping online.
1. Secure your passwords. It is highly recommended by experts to change your passwords every three months. Yes, we’re tired of changing it over and over again but that’s the safe thing to do. Hackers are hoping for that we don’t for it makes their job a lot easier. Also, avoid using the same password for every shopping platform, and make sure that you mke it as complex as possible using alphanumeric and special characters.
2. Don’t click on links. Hackers love to send sneaky links through emails, text messages, and social media sites. These links may include unbelievable offers and holiday gifts and bonuses that aim to tempt you. So instead of clicking it, do some research first to find out if the offer or deal is legitimate.
3. Shop on secure sites. Before sharing your personal financial information, make sure that the shopping site is legitimate and secure. One simple way to tell is to look for “https” at the beginning of a site’s address. HTTPS means Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and it is used to establish a secure connection between you and the site that you visit. Communication on the site is encrypted and your data is safe. All legitimate shopping sites use https for your protection.
4. Avoid “too good to be true” offers. Be suspicious of any online shops that offer a lot of products at a very low price. Any e-store that promises too much at too low a price is suspicious. If the price is too low, it’s very possible that the item were acquired illegaly, the transaction is a scam, the product is fake or damaged, or the seller is earning extra income by selling your financial information. Some shops may also publish an absurdly low price offer and then claim the item is out of stock, only to sell you something else in a classic “bait and switch” scam.
5. Don’t use public networks. When shopping online, avoid free hotspots or public networks because these connections are not secured. Avoid logging in to your online banking sites or payment sites on these networks. It’s easy for cybercriminals to hack devices on public Wi-Fi, get access to your private data, and potentially steal your identity.
These are just some of the tips that will help make your online shopping these holidays safe and stress free, so put these to work!
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