During the festive period we should all be sharing the good will and joy, but unfortunately this can also been seen as an opportunity for the ever increasing number of cybercriminals actively looking to exploit the fact that many of us have insufficient protection on our devices. Don’t miss these Internet Safety Tips while Shopping Online.
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With more and more shopping being done online, particularly this year with retail being closed on and off, it’s a timely reminder for how to keep yourself safe online.
Internet Safety Tips While Shopping Online
#1. Keep Your Laptop Clean
No, we don’t mean dusting… We recommend having the latest Internet security software and an up to date web browser. These are the best defences against viruses, malware and other online threats.
#2. Make Passwords Long and Strong
Always combine upper and lowercase letters along with numbers and / or symbols to create a secure password. You may be tempted to keep using the same simple password but the more effort you put in to choosing a secure password the more you protect yourself online. The longer the better as it takes criminal hackers much longer to crack longer passwords.
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#3. Unique Account, Unique Password
Yes it seems hard work but having a separate password for every account will help to protect you from cybercriminals. If you keep using the same password and they crack it, then they’ve potentially got access to all your accounts if you have used the same password!
#4. Check Out Sellers
Conduct independent research before you buy from an online seller you have never purchased from before. Cybercriminals are very clever to replicate websites and trick us into buying.
Search merchant reviews, and we recommend trustpilot.com where you can look up a website and check what other users are saying about it.
#5. When in Doubt STOP
Links in email, Tweets and online advertising are the simplest way for cybercriminals to compromise your PC.
If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source STOP THINK DELETE.
I was once sucked into buying something on an iffy website because I saw a sale ad on Facebook, clicked and didn’t check the website thoroughly before I bought.
#6. Protect Your Cash
When banking and shopping online check to be sure the sites are security enabled. Look for the web addresses with https:// or shttp:// which means the sites take extra measures to help secure your information.
http:// is not secure and you should always look for the padlock in the browser bar.
#7. Never Give Too Much
No online store needs your date of birth or mother’s maiden name to complete the purchase, chances are this is a phishing scam and if you combine this information along with credit card details they are 3 steps closer to stealing your identity.
#8. Use Safer Payment Options
Credit cards are generally the safest option as they allow buyers to seek a credit or chargeback from the issuer if no product is delivered or incorrect.
Also unlike debit cards, credit cards normally have a limit on the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying if your information is stolen and used by someone else. Review return policies and NEVER SEND CASH.
If you have a PayPal account then using it to pay means you are not entering credit card details directly onto the website. PayPal also offers a reclaim option where you can claim back the cost of return postage if you have to return an item.
#9. Help Authorities Fight Cybercrime
Always report stolen finances or identities and cybercrime to police. You can report to:
UK: Action Fraud
Ireland: Garda National Economic Crime Bureau
USA: FBI Cybercrime
Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
or to your local police station.
Stay safe when shopping online!
Have your say! Any other tips for safe internet shopping? Any experiences to share? Tell us in the comments below.