Caution: Stay Safe While Shopping Online
November brings shopping holidays like Shopping IL, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, but it also attracts phishing attacks. ESET, a cybersecurity company, warns that cybercriminals take advantage of these shopping periods to steal information and funds.
As more purchases are made from smartphones, it’s important to practice safe mobile shopping. According to DataReportal, 50.9% of global online shoppers use their mobile phones to make purchases at least once a week, with the trend being particularly noticeable among internet users aged 35-44.
Tips for Protecting Yourself During the Shopping Frenzy
- Stick to well-known websites: Purchase from reputable and familiar websites rather than unknown ones that offer unrealistically low prices. Unknown websites may be malicious and can result in financial loss or credit card fraud.
- Avoid clicking on unfamiliar links: Be cautious of special deal and coupon links, as scammers often take advantage of this time of year to deceive shoppers. Phishing attempts can arrive via email, social networks, WhatsApp, and even Google and Facebook ads.
- Verify crazy discount ads on social networks: Always cross-check on the official website to ensure the sale or deal is legitimate. Studies show that Facebook ads can also lead to harmful downloads.
- Beware of phishing attempts and email scams: Tempting offers sent via email may be attempts to collect your personal and credit card information. Always enter the website independently to ensure its safety and reliability.
- Ensure you are on a secure website: Check if the website address begins with “https://” as most shopping websites encrypt communication traffic. Additionally, secure websites display a green lock symbol on the left side of the address bar (right if the browser is in Hebrew).
- Use two-step verification: Take advantage of two-step verification or double verification options offered on shopping websites for added security.
- Keep your operating system up to date: Regularly update your computer’s software as it often contains crucial security patches that protect against potential threats.
- Use a secure WiFi network: Avoid making online purchases while connected to unsecured public WiFi networks, even if they are password protected.
- Create strong and unique passwords: Use complex passwords that are difficult to guess and avoid reusing them across multiple sites and services.
- Opt for secure payment methods: Use payment platforms like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or credit cards that offer buyer protection.
- Set up alerts through your credit card company: Enable SMS or email alerts for each credit card purchase and regularly review your charges for any discrepancies.
- Be cautious when downloading apps: Only download apps from official app stores such as Google Play or Apple Store.
- Avoid shopping on public WiFi and disable Bluetooth: Public WiFi networks are vulnerable to hackers, and disabling Bluetooth prevents hackers from accessing personal data.
Ensuring Safe Purchases on a Smartphone or Tablet
- Download apps only from official app stores.
- Keep apps and your operating system up to date.
- Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true deals.
By following these precautions, you can protect yourself from fraud and enjoy a secure online shopping experience during the holiday season.