Ahh…the holidays. A time for great joy and celebration for people around the world.
And for cybercriminals.
Scammers are looking to rob you of your holiday joy this year. Criminals and fraudster count on the hectic pace and distraction of the holiday season to achieve their goals; stealing money, pilfering data, and compromising computer systems.
If you plan to shop online, follow these five holiday safety tips for online shopping to protect yourself against fraudsters who are looking for their holiday bonus (at your expense!)
Criminals are banking on the fact that you are going to be expecting more package deliveries during this time of the year.
There are plenty of creative ways scammers will try to trick you. Whether they are pretending to be from Pos Laju or PDRM, or even pretend to be a fake Twitter account @pos4you, their script will always lead back to trying to trick you to revealing your information.
If you have ordered something online, use the tracking link on your order history page from the website you purchased the items from. And if you receive a delivery notification but are not expecting a delivery, navigate to the parcel service’s website directly and enter the tracking number from the suspect email into their online package tracking form.
Avoid clicking on promotion deals that come via email. Instead, open a separate browser window and got to the store’s website. If the deal is legit, you will find it there.
Scammers love to impersonate your favourite shopping sites by sending you fake emails that can look exactly like the real thing.
With these fake emails you may be getting, when you click on the download for your coupon or to claim a flash deal, malware is being downloaded to your computer. Alternatively, they may try to redirect you to a fake page that will try to collect your login information or payment details.
Beware of phony apps such as the ones which commonly pop up during Black Friday or Cyber Monday apps. Studies show 1 in 10 “Black Friday” related apps are considered malicious and unsafe to use. Always read the reviews first.
Only shop from websites and mobile apps that you already know and trust. Criminals send emails and place ads hoping that you’ll be entice by the promise of saving money on your bundle shopping, or obtaining the ‘must-have’ item of the holiday season.
The holiday period are not one of the advisable times to be experimenting with new shopping websites and apps.
Use sites that issue temporary passwords and emails like My10MinuteMail.com when signing up for discount codes so you are not giving away personal information or your personal email.
While it may be convenient, avoid public Wifi when making purchases. It exposes your information to even amateur hackers. Instead, if you must use free Wifi while you’re out in public, use a reliable VPN to keep your surfing secure.
When you click on a deal or site, make sure the website address starts with “https”, meaning it’s more secure, and it has a little green lock in the address bar. If not, it’s not encrypted!
(Read also: HTTPS vs VPN: Why You Need a VPN If HTTPS Is Secure)
Just like you would not leave your car door unlocked when going to the shopping mall, you should not leave your information out in the open for cybercriminals to steal this holiday season.
We hope that these tips on how to protect yourself while shopping online this holiday season will help you practise safe shopping.
Happy holidays Bolehians!
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