Be Careful When Shopping Online This Holiday Season
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, but the holiday shopping season is just ramping up. With the ongoing pandemic this year, online shopping has seen a huge increase, as many people have decided to purchase things exclusively over the internet instead of visiting brick and mortar stores.
And, while online shopping can be an excellent way to avoid crowded shopping centers and unpleasant situations, buying over the Internet opens up a gateway for a different variety of issues. In this Zlog post, we’ll share with you some of the most effective tips on how to stay safe when shopping online and using the Internet this holiday season.
Tips for Avoiding Cybersecurity Dangers when Shopping Online
Online shopping can be a dangerous activity if you’re not careful. Aside from the most obvious threats such as false shopping sites and fake confirmation emails, there are many more cybersecurity threats you should be aware of when shopping online.
- Keep an Eye on Your Balance – If you’re buying many different things on several sites at the same time, it can be hard to track all of your transactions. To avoid any unwanted transactions and breaches slipping unnoticed, make sure you always know how much and where you’ve spent your money.
- Never Click on Unknown Links – Only click on links to sites you trust and that you know are legit. It’s always best to type in the site’s name manually through Google and visit it that way. In line with this, avoid clicking on any banners, promo emails, or shortened links, as you can never know where they lead.
- Have a tight Password Policy – Even though it’s 2020, most people still use remarkably basic and weak passwords that can be cracked with little to no effort. You should always be certain that your password is strong and unique for every site you’re using. If you can’t keep track of all of them, you could use a trusted password manager to make it more convenient.
- Always Double-check the Site – You can never be too cautious, even if you’ve visited the site before. Make sure that the website employs HTTPS encryption and watch for anything suspicious on the site before giving away your details. If you’re visiting the site for the first time, it’s also useful to read up reviews and do a bit more research on the site’s history, as oftentimes even legitimate-looking sites turn out to be fake.
Watch out for Delivery Scams
Once you’ve completed your order online and purchased everything from a trusted vendor, all that’s left is to wait for the package. But, during the hectic holiday season, delivery services are often overworked and understaffed, leaving the door open for scammers who know how to play this to their favor.
Often, scammers try to obtain personal information on you or tracking information on your shipment, which can result in very serious consequences. A few weeks ago, a major scam involving the British Royal Mail affected a large number of people by revealing their credit card info to hackers. With this and other similar scams transpiring recently, you can never be too careful when tracking and monitoring your delivery.
The Real Risk of Fake Charities
Aside from treating yourself and your loved ones with Christmas presents, this is also the time of year when most people feel like giving back to the community and donating to different charity organizations. Unfortunately, malicious people often take advantage of this by posing as charities to steal your money.
The best way to make sure you’re giving your money to a real charity is to do some research before donating any money to it. Look for previous comments or whether or not there are any complaints about the organization. By donating to a fake charity you won’t only be wasting the money you’re giving away, but also putting yourself at risk when sharing credit card or bank information.
How to Protect Yourself When Shopping Online
With such serious cybersecurity threats lurking out there, it may seem dangerous to stay online when making any transactions that involve sharing personal and financial information. However, if you take the necessary steps to protect yourself when shopping online and engaging in other activities during the holiday season, staying safe and secure is not a very difficult task.
The best way to protect yourself online is to use a powerful combination of antivirus software and a VPN service. The antivirus will protect your device from any viruses and malware that try to infiltrate your device, while the VPN will make sure you’re private and anonymous when online. If you haven’t already protected your network with a trustworthy VPN service, try ZoogVPN now for free and make sure to secure all of your private information to have a safe and worry-free holiday season!