With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, Kaspersky Lab warns that the festive season gives a large avenue for the e-commerce websites to cash in by showering festive shopping discounts, offers on various brands, merchandise and services. It isn’t surprising then that the e-commerce hustle and bustle during these festivals poses to be a potential gold mine for online thieves.
Users need to be cautious while making their purchases online and ensure that they save themselves from falling prey to cybercrime. Kaspersky Lab offers the following 10 warnings and tips for online shoppers:
Tips to stay safe this festive season
Social Networking Safety
Kaspersky Lab highlights that it is quite common to see retailers offer special promotions to their Facebook and Twitter followers. It warns that it is also common to see a friend post a link saying, “OMG, they’re giving away free tablets, click here to claim yours!” Once a user clicks the link, he has fallen into the trap. Then, not only can it infect a user’s PC and financial information, but the malicious link will automatically spread itself to all of the user’s friends to snare more victims:
Kaspersky shares that if a user sees a deal being promoted, he should go to the retailer’s official website first to confirm that it’s a legitimate offer. They should not click on shared links without knowing that their friend purposefully shared it. And as always, if a deal seems too good to be true…it probably is.
Shopping with phones and tablets
Tablets and smartphones are more powerful than the PC that sat on your desktop a few years ago, and they’re perfect for comfortably shopping on the couch or on the go. In fact, pertaining to the urban lifestyle, the number of purchases via tablets and smartphones is rising by the day. Even though these “computers” fit in your pocket, the same rules of PC protection apply, as per Kaspersky. It advises users to make sure to protect it with security software! Once a malicious program or application installs on a user’s tablet, Kaspersky warns that it can just wait for you to access your bank account and steal your password.
According to Kaspersky, any mobile computing device that a user uses to connect to the Internet should have security software installed on it. Any mobile computing device used to purchase things from eBay, snapdeal, myntra, etc. NEEDS to have security software installed on it, urges Kaspersky.
Follow these basic tips to ensure safe browsing
No public Wi-Fi
Smartphones and tablets can help you stay on-top of deals and retail availability at Public places offering free Wi-Fi searching for that hard-to-find gift. Even though a use’s device is now protected, they need to make sure the way one connects to the Internet is secure as well. That means staying off public Wi-Fi signals in public places. Users should use their 2G/3G phone data to connect online instead. Cyber criminals know consumers are more likely to visit sites with login accounts or financial info during shopping season. They can easily monitor all the information sent across public Wi-Fi networks, which can include your bank account or credit card number.
Once a user is outside the home network, he should disable the Wi-Fi connectivity of his smartphone. Most smartphones will automatically try to connect when a Wi-Fi signal is detected, so disabling this function will keep the data on your phone or tablet safe from prying eyes.
Kaspersky Lab has created seven more holiday shopping guidelines in an infographic. It includes –
- Common-sense tips – “Dedicate a single credit card for all online shopping”
- Some technical tricks – “Look for the ‘S’ in the web address of online stores…the beginning of the URL should start with https://…”
- A few statistics to put the threat into perspective – “1,400 new pieces of banking malware are created every day”