Ways to stay safe while shopping online this Christmas

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Ways To Stay Safe While Shopping Online This Christmas

Losses on classified websites, such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, have been pegged at $4.5 million in 2020

Last weekend the world woke up to the biggest vulnerability in computing history, as hackers found an easily exploitable logging library. It is learned that the list of vendors whose products were potentially affected is massive. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) warned on Monday that attackers have been actively scanning ports for vulnerable servers. This incident triggered us to notify our readers how to stay safe from online fraud while shopping online this festive season.

Comfort and convenience have changed the rules of shopping. Most people now wish to shop online from the comfort of their homes. Online shopping platforms are also popping out by the day. But are all of them legitimate?

We are aware of scams where scammers advertise on popular social media platforms, extract money from buyers and then vanish into the thin air.

According to Scamwatch, Australians lost over $7 million to online shopping scams in 2020 – up by 42 per cent compared to the previous year. With over 12,000 reports of online shopping scams and nearly $7 million in losses.

So, don’t let your guard down this Christmas!

Tell-tale signs to look for while shopping online this Christmas

  1. Does the website look legitimate: Most fraudster websites are haphazardly done, and they either lack in-depth product information or may contain duplication and mistakes. However, scammers are growing in sophistication, so this is just the first step in caution.
  2. Secured website: Before sharing your credit card details online, check that the page is encrypted (there should be a padlock icon in the address window, and the URL must begin with https://). Make sure the checkout is secured using a secured payment gateway.
  3. Contact details: Does the website provide just one mobile number, or are there enough ways to contact the business, including address. Do check out the return policy too.
  4. Cost: Cost is the big catch in every sale. However, no product is sold below a minimum threshold. So, compare prices on the popular websites and check if the prices offered are way below other online shopping websites.
  5. COD: It is always good to opt for Cash on Delivery if you are shopping from an online store for the first time. Moreover, before handing over the money to the delivery person, always verify the goods.

Christmas Shopping

7 simple ways to stay safe from online fraud this Christmas

  1. Don’t connect to unknown Wi-fi: As you walk into malls or restaurants, you will be prompted to connect to open wi-fi. But beware! Any fraudster could rename his hotspot to resemble a mall’s wi-fi. So, rely only on your mobile data when outside.
  2. Be vigilant with emails: Your email box will be inundated with spam emails by now. Some are just promotions but there can be phishing emails too. Refrain from opening emails from an unknown sender. Do not click on links you are not sure about. Do not click on links reading heavy discounts on products, instead search for them online.
  3. Don’t click on the links in text messages: Phishing links are sent through text messages as well. Do not click on links in messages from an unknown sender.
  4. Don’t be pressured by special offers: Creating scarcity is a reigning marketing tactic. Don’t be pressured! Do not purchase unless you have verified the source with a preliminary review search on Google.
  5. Make purchases only from websites you know and trust: Shop only from websites you are familiar with, even if it means forgoing a great deal. For behind that great deal, there could be a threat lurking to catch hold of your banking credentials.
  6. Use secured applications: Today, there are applications that help you make payments through a secured window, such as BankVault Safe Window. This application uses the most modern technology that allows you to pay securely without disclosing your credentials. It is like opening a new desktop that has never existed before, free from malware, viruses, and spyware.
  7. If you feel you have fallen victim to online fraud, contact your bank immediately: Most people act too late. It is natural to wait for confirmation, but if your instinct tells you, “You have been cheated” then wait no more. Contact your bank immediately and freeze all transactions.

For more on staying safe online, read our blog on a solution that helps you protect your online identity.

If you would like to know about BankVault Safe Window or need assistance in securing your IT infrastructure