While the momentum is still building up for one of the most anticipated shopping seasons of the year- Black Friday Sales, it is imperative that shoppers, e-commerce business owners, and web visitors (window shoppers) adequately ensure that their online shopping transactions, mobile application, and internet activities are adequately secured.
The lucrative holiday season is a peak period for both online retailers and cyber fraudsters, which further emphasizes the importance of verifying the security status of online shopping and payment platforms when initiating transactions.
The following cyber-security tips will help ensure you have your safest Black Friday shopping experience ever.
• Shop with trusted eCommerce retailers: Stick to online retailers you know or have previously patronized. Mobile application users should take extra precautions when subscribing to new e-commerce platforms and avoid downloads from third-party website referrals.
Online reviews and user experience feedback from familiar persons also help build trust with new vendors.
• Avoid Non-Secure Checkouts. Always check to ensure that your online transactions are done on a secure site with appropriate multi-factor authentication in place before concluding a transaction.
Security alerts should also be enabled for all personal accounts in existence.
• Avoid Phishing Emails or Links To “Deals” When Browsing the Internet: Learn to identify phishing attempts and questionable deals that seek to collect personal information. This leaves individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks like internet spoofing and hijacking.
The speed, convenience, and high return on investment makes phishing one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to steal your personal data without you even knowing.
• Look out for the additional “S” in HTTPS: HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) guarantees data security and ensures that information exchanged during communication is encrypted with guaranteed SSL certificates.
It is the secure version of HTTP sites and prevents access to hackers and online fraudsters sourcing for vital information to exploit individuals.
• Use Unique Passwords: Avoiding using similar passwords or easy to guess leads like birthdays, family names, etc. on multiple accounts. If a hacker can access one correct password, every other account security becomes compromised. Strong passwords will usually include a long enough character combination of “easy-to-remember” alphabets, numbers, and special function keys.