Cybersecurity: Renewed approach to secure online shopping – Diario Digital

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A man shopping online. Image by Tim Sandle

The busiest time of the year for shopping is here and consumers will be on the lookout for deals of various descriptions. In doing so, people should be aware about the risk of cybercriminals, especially online where hackers and scammers will seek to target buyers looking for for e-commerce sites.

Online security expert Chris Bluvshtein, who works at vpnoverview.com has provided some important tips for readers to stay safe while shopping online.

Stick to the websites you know

Beware of strange links. Bluvshtein advises: “You might be tempted by a link from Google that promises an amazing deal, but before you click, look at the name. If it’s not something you recognize, don’t go there. Hackers can use names similar to high street brands to trick you into handing over your details, so double check that the site is the one you’re familiar with. Google also tells you if you’ve visited the site before, so it’s worth taking your time and checking those details.”

Check the URL bar

Website address can provide clues Here Bluvshtein recommends: “All websites must have a valid security certificate and you can tell by the little lock icon next to the URL. If a website doesn’t have one of these, don’t provide your bank details or valuable information.”

Check your bank statements

Be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Bluvshtein suggests: “You may not even realize your data has been stolen until it’s too late, but by getting in the habit of checking your account and statements, you can catch any suspicious activity early on. Your bank will have information about the time limits they have for fraudulent purchases, so be sure to keep an eye on your account statements.”

Use a password manager

Protecting our passwords is important. Bluvshtein presents an idea: “The most secure thing you can do is to use a unique random password for all your accounts. But instead of writing them down on post-it notes or notebooks, use a password manager to keep them all in one place. Password managers lock your information behind a master password, and many of them automatically complete website logins for you, keeping you safe from keylogger attacks.

Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is easy to hack. Bluvshtein explains this: “You might be tempted to log on to your favorite shopping site over coffee at your local coffee shop, but using that public Wi-Fi connection is extremely dangerous. Public Wi-Fi rarely has security protocols, such as passwords, and hackers can take advantage and steal unsecured banking details and sensitive information without your knowledge.”

Use mobile payments

Some forms of financial transaction offer guarantees. Bluvshtein selects: “Apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay can protect your bank details, so if a website accepts them, it’s better to use them instead of your debit card.”

Use a credit card

Card payment protection is another idea. Bluvshtein thinks: “If something is of high value, don’t use your debit card to pay for it. UK consumer law means you can get refunds or get your money back if your card is stolen. Credit cards also have more protections than debit cards.

Set up a temporary bank account

Limiting how much of your bank account is available is another recommendation. Bluvshtein: “By opening an online-only bank account like Revolut or Monzo, you can control how much money you have access to with transfers from your regular account. This way, even if your data is compromised, the hacker can’t do anything with your real bank account.”

Use a VPN

Virtual private networks are another solution. Bluvshtein shouts: “A VPN protects your data from prying eyes. Everything you send is encrypted, so even if a hacker can see it on a network, they won’t be able to access your sensitive information. VPNs connect you to a remote server and hide your IP, using one along with any of our other tips can make your online shopping super secure.”

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