It’s Cyber Monday and there are some great money saving opportunities around the web. If you're wondering if these deals are safe we have provided some tips to help you keep your accounts secure.
November and December are historically the months with the most on-line transactions taking place, as a result cyber criminals are especially active during this time. Here are 5 ways to help you stay safe this Cyber Monday:
Reports from the Anti-Phishing Working Group reported an 18% increase in Phishing reports in the final quarter of 2014. Phishing occurs when cyber criminals create a fake version of a well-known site in an effort to get hold of the visitors username and password.
Look out for the Padlock Symbol to be sure you are making a secure connection to the website.
Look at the URL as Phishing attempts often feature typos in their URL as designed to look similar but not always identical.
Get a Phishing Filter, often provided as part of the Anti-Virus protection service by the leading providers.
A website's security is only as secure as its weakest link, don’t let this be your password.
Don’t use personal information that can easily be obtained like your date of birth or nickname.
Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols in your password.
If available select to opt in when a website offers a service to track unusual activity on your account.
Malware and Social Media Scams
If a deal sounds too good to be true then it may be best to proceed with caution. Social media sites frequently advertise such deals, these often will redirect you to phishing sites and malware downloads or trick you into signing up to expensive monthly subscriptions.
Stay unto date as loopholes in older versions of operating systems, browser applications and anti-virus applications are exploited and used as a way into your system.
Communicate with the sender as if you received a notification about a crazy deal from a friend let them know so they can secure their account.
When using a public network, like in a coffee shop or bar there may be someone tracking your browsing so never ever use a public WiFi Network or terminal when inputting credit card details even when using a website you know and trust.
Wait until you can use a private network.
Use your 3G or 4G as this is safer.
Using Little Known Sites
As an online shopping website try to establish themselves in the e-commerce market they may offer legitimate deals at fantastic prices. These can be hard to pass by and can easily cause buyer anxiety as you try to work out if they can be trusted to buy from.
Make sure they have an SSL this is security verification and is visible as a padlock in the URL, this will also start with HTTPS not HTTP.
Read the website's privacy and security policy to see how they handle any data they require before your purchase.
Look for a PayPal option as these typical have strong security measures in place.
Only give the information required to make and receive the transaction, you do not need to provide them with anything else.