Story image

How to stay safe when shopping online

17 Dec 2018

It’s a bit of a frenzy out there. Crowds bustling, trolleys clanking – and even those of us who prefer the quieter comforts of shopping online may run into trouble, because we’re all tempted by such a vast world of temptations at our fingertips.

With giant retailers like Amazon, and others that offer pre-Christmas discounts, there’s now a reasonable incentive for us to take shopping online.

But according to security firm Palo Alto Networks, buyers must by hyper-vigilant before they hand over the financial details and must watch out for scams and hacks.

Palo Alto Networks regional vice president for A/NZ, Steve Manley, online shopping is a great way to avoid the crowds – but there are risks.

“Shopping online means consumers are passing on their credit card details and home addresses, which can be dangerously misused when it falls into in the wrong hands.”

“By taking a few simple precautions, consumers can avoid getting ripped off or having their identity stolen by cybercriminals.”

Here are a few tips to keep safe.

1. Mask payment details

Using online payment options such as PayPal, or prepaid cards, can help avoid the risks associated with handing out credit card details to unknown parties. If a website requests payment via money order, pre-loaded money card, or wire transfer, it’s likely to be a scam and should be avoided. 

2. Beware of links

Clicking on links in emails regarding deals or coupons can expose users to scams that can result in identity theft. Consumers should avoid clicking on links and should especially avoid entering their details into potentially-fake sites. Instead, they should manually type the URL of the shopping site they intend to visit to minimise the risk of being redirected to a spoof site for phishing purposes. 

3. Be careful on social media

A new version of phishing scams involves using social media to promote fake websites. Often these websites will make a few legitimate sales, then disappear with the bulk of the money they’ve received. The best way to detect a fake trader or social media online shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing. And, if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. (3)  

4. Use strong passwords and log out completely 

When shopping online, it’s important to use strong, unique passwords to protect accounts. It’s also crucial to clear payment information from devices and log out completely, otherwise these details can be compromised if the device is lost or another person uses it. 

Industrial control component vulnerabilities up 30%
Positive Technologies says exploitation of these vulnerabilities could disturb operations by disrupting command transfer between components.
McAfee announces Google Cloud Platform support
McAfee MVISION Cloud now integrates with GCP Cloud SCC to help security professionals gain visibility and control over their cloud resources.
WatchGuard announces A/NZ partners awards
Four Australian companies were named partner award winners at the WatchGuard conference in Vietnam.
Telstra’s 2019 cybersecurity report
Cybersecurity remains a top business priority as the estimated number of undetected security breaches grows.
Why AI and behaviour analytics should be essential to enterprises
Cyber threats continue to increase in number and severity, prompting cybersecurity experts to seek new ways to stop malicious actors.
Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET
The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.
Cryptojacking and failure to patch still major threats - Ixia
Compromised enterprise networks from unpatched vulnerabilities and bad security hygiene continued to be fertile ground for hackers in 2018.
Why cybersecurity remains a top business priority
One in two Australian businesses estimated that they will receive fines for being in breach of new legislation.