10 Cybersecurity Tips For Online Shopping This Winter
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25 October 2023

Click4Assistance

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10 Cybersecurity Tips For Online Shopping This Winter

Feast your eyes on the top 10 cybersecurity tips to keep you safe when shopping online this winter.

According to data from SaleCycle, winter is the most popular time of the year for online shopping. Most notably, the major shopping events happen across November and December while everyone's looking for Black Friday deals and Christmas presents. You'll spend a lot of time online shopping this winter - but are you keeping yourself safe? Here are 10 tips that'll protect you (and your data) when you're browsing the online retail market:

1. Only use secure sites

Secure sites have SSL encryption that prevents hackers from seeing information transferred via the site. This means your personal data and financial info are locked away behind closed doors. Only use secure sites - there are two ways to spot them: a lock icon in the search bar or a URL that begins with https.

2. Never click on strange links

Hackers love using phishing scams to steal your data and they usually come in the form of dodgy links. You can get them via emails, through a website chat tool or just on the website itself. Strange links are normally out of place or appear unsolicited without you asking for anything. If you see a link that seems suspicious, don't click on it.

3. Double-check email addresses

Scams are rampant during the winter shopping season as hackers will pose as your favourite websites or delivery providers. You'll often receive messages from "Amazon" claiming that there's a problem with your order/payment. They'll make you click something, which ends up being a phishing link that steals your data.

Always double-check email addresses before you click on anything. Usually, if you click on the sender and press "more info" the full address is revealed and you will easily spot fake ones. If you're still unsure, contact the company directly and ask if they sent an email.

4. Be wary of new websites

Ideally, try to stick to sites that you know and trust. Now is not the time to try out a new seller or website that you've never heard of. If you've used a site before and had no issues, you can feel confident that nothing bad will happen again.

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5. Use safe payment methods

Safe payment methods will protect your financial data and can stop your bank account from being hacked. Try to use things like Apple or Google Pay as they encrypt your information when making payments. The vendor doesn't see your bank details, so there's no threat of your information being stolen by hackers.

6. Never shop via open WiFi

Lots of us shop on our phones or while we're out and about. If you do this, never shop on an open internet connection. Only ever use secure connections - like a password-protected one at home or your mobile data connection while outside. Open WiFi is terrible as none of your info is protected and hackers can easily see what you're doing.

7. Make sure you have multiple passwords

Having the same password for every online shop you use is a terrible idea. If a hacker obtains your password details for one store, they now have access to all of them. Update your passwords and use suggested passwords from web browsers to make them even more secure. Now, it's harder for someone to guess your details - and if they guess them for one site, you haven't compromised the others.

8. Don't fall for text scams

There was an 80% increase in text scams last year and it remains a huge problem for online shoppers. You receive false texts from fake businesses, usually asking for account details or directing you to yet another dodgy link. As mentioned before, avoid clicking links and contact customer service if you're worried. Use the website chat tool or email/call the business directly to see if they have sent a text or not.

9. Keep your software updated

Whether it's your web browser, mobile phone, shopping apps or computer software, you need to keep everything updated. Updates usually come with security improvements, so ignoring them can leave you unprotected and exposed when shopping online.

10. Be aware of the latest scams

Finally, make yourself aware of all the latest scams happening right now. New scams appear all the time and catch people off-guard. If you know what to expect, it's easier to spot the signs of a scam and avoid being unknowingly drawn in.

Keep yourself safe when shopping online this winter and you'll avoid a lot of stress. It's all about remaining vigilant and being slightly paranoid. Don't be afraid to question everything - some added caution can stop you from falling victim to a devastating online scam.


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BLOG ARTICLE AUTHOR: CLICK4ASSISTANCE

Click4Assistance is the UK's premier web chat provider, providing online instant messaging software for more than 10 years.






WE HELP BUSINESSES COMMUNICATE

UK providers of live chat software and online communication tools to a range of industries, we offer a cutting edge, resilient and proven live chat solution backed-up with first class support and advice.

FIND OUT MORE

Photograph of the author

BLOG ARTICLE AUTHOR: CLICK4ASSISTANCE

Click4Assistance is the UK's premier web chat provider, providing online instant messaging software for more than 10 years.






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