With Christmas a few weeks away and Boxing Day sales on the horizon it’s a great time to review some online shopping safety tips.
We all love the convenience of online shopping but it does come with an element of risk. Online fraud cases over the Christmas period have been rising year on year. Over £14.5 million was lost to criminals in the UK alone last year, which was a 20% rise on the previous year. Surprisingly men aged 20-29 were most likely to fall victim to online fraud. Online shopping is increasing due to the pandemic restrictions and in parallel online fraud has increased by 30% over the course of the pandemic. For the most part, shopping online is secure but it wise to take special precautions to make sure that your accounts are protected and finances are secure:
Here are our tips to make sure the cyber criminal Grinch doesn’t spoil Christmas:
- Check payment pages are secure with ‘https’ at the start of the web address along with the padlock symbol. This will ensure your connection is secure and encrypted – but it doesn’t meant the site is genuine and won’t protect you from who you connect with! So…
- Check you are using an authentic website – stick with reputable online retailers who you know and trust
- Do not make purchases on public wifi, while it may be tempting to do some shopping while on your lunch break, this puts your personal information including credit card details at risk
- Enable two factor authentication on your email and online shopping accounts where possible
- Mobile phones and electronics were key fraud targets last year – buy these from reputable sites only. Facebook, Gumtree and Ebay were the source of many frauds last year with many ordered electronics not arriving.
- Use secure payment methods such as PayPal when buying on online auction sites and use a credit card (not debit card) to make online purchases as they offer more security
- Social media adverts and messages are being increasingly utilised by criminals – watch out for phishing emails and never click on unsolicited messages
- Luxury brand counterfeit goods – if an offer seems too good to be true then it likely is!
- Never enter your PIN number online and develop strong password habits, not using the same password across sites
- Look out for lack of ‘contact us’ or shipping details on the web-site
- Whatever you buy, and wherever you buy it, closely examine your bank and Paypal statements for fraudulent transactions
- Make sure your multi layered cyber security services are in place
We hope you have a great Christmas and these tips help it be a safe one too!
RedMosquito provides IT Support and IT Security Services to SMEs in Glasgow, Edinburgh and throughout Scotland.