This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Christmas shopping will mean staying safe from theft and scams, this time, mainly on the virtual stage. In this context, ESET, a leading company in proactive threat detection, makes recommendations to make Christmas shopping as safe as possible.
Simple tips to help keep you safe while searching for the perfect gift online:
- Make purchases only in trusted virtual stores: As with any shopping season, scammers seek to create fake stores to attract potential victims and get their money from them. To mitigate any risk of falling for these fake stores, we should stick with those that have a good reputation, sellers with verifiable records, and good reviews from other buyers.
- If an offer seems too good to be true, it is probably a hoax: During the holiday season, scammers rely on the idea that no one can resist a good price. However, be aware that if you come across high-end brands or tech products offered at incredibly low prices, chances are you’re dealing with a scam. Make sure to avoid any suspicious-looking offers that are too good, especially if they are from an unknown seller.
- Buy only on encrypted websites (HTTPS): When you are searching for the perfect gift on the Internet and you finally find a site where you want to buy it, it is important first to verify that that site uses encryption. This can be verified with the existence of a small padlock in the browser bar and that the web domain begins with https: //. All legitimate sites online use encryption, although it is also true that fraudulent sites have increasingly embraced the use of HTTPS. This type of encryption ensures that sensitive user data such as account credentials will not be sent in plain text, adding an extra layer of protection regardless of whether you are purchasing from a home Wi-Fi network or a public network. .
- Use quality security software on devices: While shopping online, one of the best security measures you can take is to use a security solution that has a good reputation and that has various features. These solutions generally include blocking untrusted sites, providing protection against most attacks, and even protection of payments for purchases and transactions.
- Take the time to think before buying or posting personal information: Before buying something, take a deep breath and think about what to buy, where and what kind of information the site asks for while completing a purchase. If you decide to buy anyway, check the data that the seller requests and complete only what is necessary, since this data can be stolen in case it reaches the wrong hands, as it can happen due to a breach suffered by the site Shopping.
- Do not make purchases using a public network, only through secure connections: Although it may sound attractive to finish a purchase while doing other activities, it should be avoided doing it while connected to a public network. These networks are often targeted by cybercriminals who will try to compromise the device or enter Internet traffic. A better idea would be to use the phone data. If connection to a public network cannot be avoided, at least use a VPN solution to encrypt the data that is sent and received.
- Check your account status after a purchase and contact the credit card provider if you notice anything suspicious: After completing a purchase, check the account balance to make sure that everything is fine and that the price paid for the product corresponds to the price that was published. If something looks weird, like a different price or unusual activity on the card, the credit card provider should be contacted to resolve it, and if something suspicious appears, the money can be prevented from going to cybercriminals by blocking the cards.
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