Although eCommerce platforms are all about offering people the convenience and accessibility they demand, the risk of falling prey to cybercriminals is also high, according to Kaspersky, a global leader in cyber security and digital privacy.
With the New Year fast approaching, people worldwide are getting jump-started on last-minute shopping. Bearing in mind that people’s shopping habits have changed since the pandemic started, they have become far more comfortable hopping on multiple e-commerce websites to grab the best deal.
62 per cent of people in the UAE dealt with fraudsters who were trying to steal money, bank card details, internet banking credentials in 2020, according to a Kaspersky survey.
“There’s a popular saying that Google knows you better than yourself. The statement is frightening but true. More than half of our day is spent looking at screens, whether a computer, laptop or mobile device. We are so attuned to looking up online to find the best deals that it’s easy to get tricked into visiting fake websites, which might be an entry a cybercriminal needs to achieve their motives. We know how you can prevent such mishaps and keep yourself safe. It takes a little effort, but it’s worth the time,” said Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team at Kaspersky.
When it comes to being safe and secure when shopping online, you need to know what to watch for. Kaspersky recommends these five things you can do to have some peace of mind while you shop online:
- Search the internet safely: Even though search engines come in handy when you’re looking for products, you run the risk of unintentionally clicking on malicious search results that could lead you to phishing websites instead. These malicious search results are created and designed by cybercriminals to capture your data, such as credit card details, and steal money.
- Manage and protect your online passwords: Don’t make your password an easy-to-guess word or place name. Creating a password with a mixture of numbers, letters, and even punctuation marks is always helpful. Moreover, get a password manager such as Kaspersky Password Manager, which is a great way to update, manage and protect your online shopping spree. It also allows you to create and save a different password for each website.
- Shop from trusted apps and websites only: Mobile apps can not only access a vast amount of data (contacts, location details and more), but they also often work in the background without users knowing. Some apps even launch automatically and track the user’s activity without notification. Similarly, websites are also designed to track information like your online searches, geographical location, IP address etc. You can download an internet security software like Kaspersky Internet Security to vet the credibility of the apps you use and protect yourself and the mobile device from any unwanted app activity.
- Use one credit card: You might benefit from having one dedicated credit card that you only use for online purchases. This way, you can lower the risk of having information from multiple cards being spread all over the internet. It may be possible to restrict the credit limit for your ‘online credit card’ or to hold a limited amount of money on your ‘online debit card’.
- Beware of using public Wi-Fi: Don’t just assume that the Wi-Fi link you access at the café or in the mall is legitimate. It could be a bogus link set up by a cybercriminal trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users. Question everything — and don’t connect to an unknown or unrecognised wireless access point. A rigorous anti-malware and security solution can keep your device protected at all times, just ensure it is regularly updated.
In addition to these preventive steps, Kaspersky recommends that you use a solution like the Kaspersky Total Security, which will notify and keep you vigilant if you are trying to visit a confirmed or suspected phishing webpage. These solutions also provide you with various tools like private browsing, account checker, anti-ransomware, password management and mobile security.