Christmas is coming. Retailers have started aggressive sales tactics via email offers, banner ads, hot calls, and who knows how else? These pre-Christmas sales may hide scam schemes, phishing tactics, and malwaretising. Considering that you'll likely be online shopping, you must be attentive and careful.
According to USA Today, the most popular scam this year is dubious delivery confirmations. After the usual purchase process, you wait for a delivery confirmation letter. Scammers see this as an opportunity and will hop at the chance to scam you with falsified delivery confirmation letters. But, more traditionally, scammers attract their victims with extremely high discounts and exclusive offers. By this I mean ridiculous and unbelievable discounts, like a new MacBook for only $100. That’s the reason to think twice before clicking at any links.
Below you will find the main tips that will help reduce the security risks when online shopping:
1.Try to Buy Only at Well-Known Websites
Even if you want to buy a gift at a website that you know well, you may fall as a victim to scammers. There are hundreds of ways to copy website interfaces. The most proper way to check it is to look at the link. The link should always start with “http”. Oftentimes major retailers will have safety lock symbol next to that URL confirming that the site is real.
2. Keep Your Financial Information Secure
Did you know that almost all payments should be confirmed today via cell phone? A lot of online shops still use an email for confirmation, but many more are utilizing additional confirmation through cell phone numbers. Your cell phone is typically linked with your credit card, so you don’t even need to provide any phone numbers to receive the verification code.
3. Stay Away from Offers in Messenger Apps
Main part of scams today comes from messengers that are linked to cell numbers. Responding to such messages can lead to potentially great losses.
4. Use Security Software
What is malwaretising? You may have heard that the hackers buy advertising traffic in same amounts as publishers, meaning that ads are risky today. Antivirus software cannot stop malwaretising, but at least it will secure your system against viruses and malware. There’s a wide range of anti-malware apps for Mac and PC.
5. Don't Fall for Unbelievably Sweet Deals
Don’t lose your head because of attractive offers appear all over the Internet during the winter holiday season. Remember an example with MacBook? There are thousands of examples of such deals, and it's important that you don't fall for such ridiculous offers.