Protect yourself from cybercriminals these holidays

Shopping online is becoming more and more popular due to its convenience. What better way to shop for those last minute Christmas gifts this year than to shop online in the comfort of your own home?

While it may be convenient, it’s important to keep in mind things aren’t always as they seem.

Dangers are always lurking when using the internet and you should exercise precautions to identify possible scammers attempting to rip you off.

Always be aware of fake sellers. Check logos, business names, URL addresses and contact details against the company’s website.  If the details don’t match up, have different sizing or colours, steer clear!

Other warning signs include: if the product is advertised at a much lower price than found elsewhere, unusual methods of payment and limited contact and delivery details and store policies.

Where possible, type the web address into your browser instead of clinking on a link that has been sent to you.

Identity theft and fraud is deceptive and unethical behaviour. It’s most commonly involves the misuse of personal information located on the internet.

Shopping online with a credit card can leave your bank details vulnerable by being:

  • Intercepted as it passes through various computer links
  • Sent in un-encrypted emails
  • Stored on insecure computers

Use well regarded financial services such as Paypal to ensure that financial information is secure when shopping online

When shopping online, be sure to use reputable sites, offering secure payment methods. Make sure that payment details are encrypted – look for the prefix “https” and a padlock symbol in the URL.

Never send your bank or credit card details via email and avoid using non-secure payment methods such as bank deposits, money transfers, preloaded gift cards or electronic currencies (like Bitcoin). It’s rare to recover money sent this way.

If using a secure payment service such as Paypal, select the ‘payment for goods/service’ option.  If a seller instructs you to make the payment via a ‘friends and family’ option, this voids buyer protections and should act as a red flag.

Computer Security:

  • Check that you are always using a secure browser.
  • Install and update virus…