It’s that time of the year again when retailers entice shoppers with reduced prices of goods being sold online. Visa has already projected 18% increase in the number on online shoppers for this year, up from 16% last year. This increase in online shopper resulted to some $11 billion worth of shopping done in the five days before the Thanksgiving weekend in U.S.
While online shopping gives us the advantage of just sitting at home and order goods from our laptops, tablets, or smartphones. It also opens up new type of concerns, such as cyber security. And the perpetrators are cognizant of the fact that most internet not very cautious about security concerns of their online browsing habits. You only need to look at the mimicking of Google.com with ɢoogle.com, the latter taking users to a completely different (and potentially dangerous) site from the search engine.
Online Shopping safety tips this Black Friday
Putting in mind that a lot of people will be doing online shopping this Black Friday, and few weeks after that during the Christmas and New Year’s shopping. Innovt8tiv has listed some basic yet, strong enough security measurement that will keep you safe:
Always check that the e-commerce site you’re visiting is secure and has a valid encryption certificate. This will be located at the left-most part of the browser address bar. It should have the ‘lock sign’ or ‘green in color’. If it has the said, then it has been guaranteed by known encryption and security certification entities like VeriSign and Symantec among others.
Ensure all software installed on your computer are updated, and your system has received the most recent security patches.
Remember, you are visiting an online shop, and nowhere between signing in and checking out should you be asked security or privacy questions. The standard question such a site should have is your name, address, email address and your phone number for delivery. More information than that, the site is mining privacy/security answers that could be used against you. My advice is to leave such site.
It is advisable you use credit cards not directly linked to your personal bank account. The same goes whether you are using PayPal, Skrill, M-Pesa, Bitcoin or any other form of electronic payment.
Have your credit monitored by a trusted professional third party, who continuously scans your credit cards record and will immediately alert you on possible theft via SMS or email notifications.
Have your credit card company set up an SMS or email notification whenever your credit card is used and was not That is when a purchase was made, and the card was not in someone’s hand. To be on the safe side, set this alert to be sent even if the transactions is as low as just $25 per transactions. While you are on it, it is also prudent to set up a cap on the maximum amount of purchase amount allowable before the card gets declined.
Always…always, have a reputable antivirus program running in your system and keep it updated as often as possible. Getting an Ad block plug-in on your browser is also recommended.
When creating passwords for your various online accounts. Ensure it is very strong, and even as important, never use the same password for two different accounts.
When browsing, never click on links and Ads you are not sure of.
If available, always use the two-factor authentication/verification option.
If you will be shopping on your mobile device. You also need to ensure your apps are updated, the mobile operating system has received all security patch updates. It would also help to install antivirus and avoiding clicking on links you don’t much about.