Cyber Security Tips | Online Shopping
Over the holiday shopping season, millions of people will order something online. Hackers utilize this increase in online activity in many different ways. Below are tips to help protect you and your family:
1. Look for https://
- Never buy anything from a site that does not have ‘https’ at the start of the URL for the payment page. The ‘s’ stands for secure. If there is no ‘s’ then there should be no shopping.
2. Designate one card for specific online purchases
- Try using a single card for online purchases and a different one for in-store purchases. Credit cards often offer consumers more protection on fraudulent purchases than debit/bank cards.
3. Phishing emails will surge. Keep a cheat sheet of stores and shipping methods for your purchases
- Popular themes revolve around invoices, delivery notifications, Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, etc. Double check the email address and don’t click on any links in the message.
- Keep a list of what you’ve ordered and what shipping method is being used for quick reference.
4. Text messages offering deals
- Users have reported receiving messages offering gift cards that appear to be sent from a phone contact. The link may take you to an official looking site requesting personal information.
- Clicking on the link may allow the hackers access to your device that could in turn track your location.
5. Freebies on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
- Free iPads, flights, shopping vouchers, theater tickets and cheap Ray-Ban sunglasses all fall into the category of “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
- Hackers create attractive deals to post on social media asking users to “like” and “share” the ad to push it to the top of news feeds. Those who click through may be asked for personal details, which can then be used for fraudulent purposes.
- The posts may appear to be from legitimate companies – check if the account is verified with a blue checkmark. If not, ignore it!
6. Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi
- Wi-Fi hotspots offered by coffee shops, fast food restaurants and bars are incredibly convenient but are shockingly vulnerable. It doesn’t take much effort for an attacker to hack into the network and access user data.
- Hackers may also set up fake hotspots.
- If you’re shopping online use your cellular network on your mobile device or wait until you get home.
7. When shopping on eBay stick to the rules
- Always pay by PayPal – most items are protected by eBay’s Money Back Guarantee.
- Avoid sellers requesting payment via bank or wire transfers.
8. Use a different password for your most sensitive accounts
- Passwords are still the easiest way for hackers to access your accounts. The most sensitive accounts should have unique ones; that includes email, banking and social media.