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 PC’s. Don’t miss these Internet Safety Tips while Shopping Online.
#1. Keep Your PC Clean
And we don’t mean wiping it with a cloth! We recommend having the latest Internet security software and 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.
You might also like to read: Tips for Buying and Selling Online
#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 a seller you have never purchased from before. Cybercriminals are very clever to replicate websites and trick us into buying. Search merchant reviews, 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 and 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 always look for the padlock in the browser bar.
#7. Never Give Too Much
#8. Use Safe Payment Options
Credit cards are generally the safest option as they allow buyers to seek a credit/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.
#9. Help Authorities Fight Cybercrime
Always report stolen finances or identities and cybercrime to police. You can report to:
UK: Action Fraud
Ireland: Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation
USA: FBI Cybercrime
Canada: RCMP Cyber Section
or to your local police station.
Stay safe when shopping online!
You might also be interested in earning cash back on every purchase you make online, there are sites such as Ebates.ca which offer 1% cashback and coupons for ebay shipping.
Over to you now, any tips for safe internet shopping? any experiences to share? Tell us in the comments below.