21 Dec 2016
Last minute online shopping for family and friends? Don't be quick to click on that Buy button; learn how to protect yourself from too-good offers and online scams.
Buy from reputable online vendors
Shop with peace of mind knowing that well-established brands ensure robust security measures are in place. Nonetheless, it's important to stay alert as scammers often create high-quality phishing sites that can fool unsuspecting shoppers. If you must purchase from a lesser-known vendor, read reviews of their services and contact past customers if possible. Also check that the vendor is physically located where they claim to be.
Always use credit cards, not debit cards
Generally, credit cards offer an additional layer of protection when shopping online. Not only is credit card not linked to your funds, there is a limit on the amount you will be responsible for in the event your information is stolen. Alternatively, use secure online payment services such as PayPal to ensure your bank details are protected.
Look for website with https
Websites that start with https, the online safety protocol, encrypts information using secure sockets layer or SSL so your data is kept private and protected. Look for the padlock symbol before the text in the URL, otherwise treat the website with caution.
Be wary of offers too good to be true
Be wary of unbelievable offers. This is especially the case during festive season, as scams are aplenty to tempt unsuspecting shoppers. Sometimes, the scammers' purpose is simply to infect your devices. The more reliable the vendor and the more secure the website, the likelier the offer is authentic.
Choose your mobile phone network over public wifi
These days, public wifi has become a norm and even something we tend to expect. However, unsecure hotspots are likely to be susceptible to cyber attacks. Choose to use data provided by your network provider to steer clear of online attacks.