Tips for Online Shopping: Shop Smart, Shop Securely

Tips for Online Shopping: Shop Smart, Shop SecurelyWith the entire nation currently having the 1Malaysia Mega Sale (1MMSC) Carnival and Raya Sales some of us may turn to online shopping to beat the crazy crowds at shopping centers. However, we should be aware that shopping related scams are on the rise. Here are some tips of online shopping.

The evolution and adoption of technology has long spilt over into the e-commerce domain. Malaysia has witnessed an explosion of online and mobile shopping that is now accessible through multiple devices. At present, the online shopping trend has rippled its waves over to social networking sites as Malaysians share their shopping experiences and purchase decisions online.

Beware of Malware
Just as we take precautions to be alert to snatch thieves while shopping, the same should be done when shopping online. Instead of wielding knives, cyber-criminals are equipped with extensive knowledge of technology and of passive online consumer behaviour thus posing a serious threat to online shoppers. In 2012, the Norton Cybercrime Report announced that 18 adults globally fall victim compared to 247 in 2011, marking an increase by almost 50 percent shapes and forms – viruses and malware, identity theft, fake applications, and so on.  

According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 18, blogging and shopping sites have been among the top five targeted websites that may contain malware, such as Trojan Horses, that enables cybercriminals to access consumers’ personal information malware becoming more common, it is difficult for consumers to distinguish trusted websites from exploited ones and they may not be aware that these phishing attacks are putting their personal information at risk.

In addition to website exploits, consumers should also be concerned with who they trust on their social media platforms. By spamming and phishing on frequently used social media sites, cybercriminals can follow users and gain access to their information by tempting them through fake promotions. In 2012, 56% of all social media attacks included fake gift cards or survey scams customers were tricked into signing up for offers by entering their personal details.

Despite enjoying the apps that make consumers’ lives easier, users should watch out for fake apps that can easily steal personal information. Mobile adware, a nuisance that may expose user details, sneak on consumers’ devices when they download apps. While you would think that deleting the app will solve your problems, the damage has already been down since the app was downloaded, so it’s wiser to avoid trouble from the start. 

Survival Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Be Smart when use Public Wi-Fi Networks
It’s tempting to use public Wi-Fi to quickly shop online while you were waiting for someone or hangout at the cafes which has free Wi-Fi. However, public hotspots can be virtual playgrounds for cybercriminals. Use a personal VPN or wait until you’re on a protected network, because your shopping is not worth your personal details and financial credentials. For finding the best VPN services you can check out the article of Mercury News.

Watch out Don’t Take the Bait
It is simple to make a website look like a legitimate organization site and scams counts on people being tricked into thinking they are actually entering an official website. Avoid the temptation, and look for signs of trust, such as the Norton Secured Seal, that shows consumers that the retailer has been verified and the site is safe to shop on.

Spam Surprises
Spam may carry viruses and malicious threats that may harm a user’s computer. While you may be tempted with headlines like, “Malaysia’s Mega Sale: 80% off!” or subtle ones like “Information about your shipped package!”, it would better to stay clear of them. Be cautious of emails sent from unknown contacts or deals that seem too good to be true.

“iw2g2E” makes an ideal password because it is easily recalled by a user, short for (I want to go to England) but a hacker would not be able to crack it just as easily. Complex passwords are under-rated and users should padlock their online identity by using a password of different characters— upper and lowercase characters, numbers and symbols.

The only real defense is active defense. According to Norton Cybercrime Report 2012, 40 percent of online adults do not know that a virus or malware can act in a discrete fashion, making it hard to recognize if a computer has been compromised. Don’t be ignorant but start protecting your devices with Norton 360 Multi-Device that supports up to 5 devices, and let your online shopping be about getting the best deals and not about avoiding cybercrime.

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