Many consumers are now still making short-term online purchases. However, this is the time when cyber criminals are booming. Security provider BullGuard lists five simple security tips with which consumers can still shop online safely before Christmas.
1. Use VPN connection in public WLAN
Public WLAN is known to be insecure. Nevertheless, it can be tempting to quickly order a Christmas present online while on the move. But even hackers with little technical knowledge can intercept names and payment details in this case, provided they know the freely available public WLANs password. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the antidote of choice here. It creates a secure virtual tunnel between your own device and the websites you visit, so that no one can follow your online activities. This allows users to surf safely in a public WLAN.
2. Be skeptic with particularly favorable offers
The most frequent cases of fraud are articles such as mobile phones, clothing and accessories, shoes, watches and jewelry. But also with particularly popular and high-priced luxury fashion articles the cases of fraud increase during the Christmas season. Such items are often sold on auction websites..
But sometimes cyber criminals also create their own websites to offer fraudulent goods. Here it helps to compare prices and images of the goods with those on other sites. Often, extreme cheap prices are a sign that something is not right. In short, offers that are too good to be true are not.
3. Check Website Security
The small lock symbol in the corner of the browser's address bar indicates, that the visited website uses a secured and encrypted data communication. In this case, the URL also begins with "https". If this lock or the "s" behind "http" isn't shown, the communication with the web site is unprotected, so personal information may be seen from third parties. Accordingly, visitors should be careful before entering private data like e-mail-addresses, passwords, credit card information etc. for example.
4. Use only trustworthy sites for online shopping
Some online stores are not real, but were created by fraudsters who only want to collect credit card information and other personal information. To be on the safe side, online shoppers should only order from online stores that are known and trusted, or where something has already been purchased.
5. Beware of email fraud
Email phishing is a popular among online scammers. During the Christmas season, they offer numerous "special offers" at unbeatable prices. But 99 percent of these emails, which come from unknown individuals or companies, are scams. They try to trick recipients into clicking on a link that could infect the computer with malware and give them access to personal information. Basically, you should not click on links or open attachments whose origin appears doubtful.
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