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Be a smart online shopper

by Reedz on July 2, 2015


IG_OnlineShopping

Online shopping is a popular trend of buying products or services through the internet. The wide range of choices available online make it very attractive and convenient to shop from the comfort of your home.

Are there any risks that people should be aware of?

There are quite a lot of risks when shopping online, but I’d like to highlight the top 3 risks that everyone should be aware of.

  • Online scam is a way for people to cheat other people without having to obtain users’ personal info Instead, victims willingly give their personal information to scammers.
  • Phishing is another way of getting sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card
  • Identity theft is the act of impersonating someone else by using their personal information

How can you use online shopping safely?

Before you start online shopping:

  • Protect your personal information. When making a purchase online, be alert to the kind of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields on a checkout form. Before providing your personal or financial information, check the website’s privacy policy. Make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.
  • Keep a paper trail. Print and save records of your online transactions, including the product description, price, online receipt, terms of the sale, and copies of any email exchange with the seller. Check your credit card statements as soon as you get them, to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. If there is a discrepancy, call your bank and report it.
  • Use familiar websites. Buy from well-known, trusted retailers. Go directly to the website of your choice, and do not click any links you get from emails or SMS, even if you are familiar with the website. Some attackers may create a fake website that looks very similar to the real website, so be careful not to fall into this kind of trap.
  • Know the vendor. Make sure the website or vendor is legitimate. One way to do this is to read reviews or testimonials by other users. For example, eBay allows customers to rate their vendors, so make sure to buy from a seller with high ratings.
  • Make sure the site is secure. Before you enter any personal details or payment information, look for signs that the site is secure. Make sure the payment page address begins with “https” and there is a locked padlock symbol on the browser. The ‘s’ stands for secure, and ensures the transaction is encrypted.
  • Never use unsecured wireless networks to make an online This includes Wi-Fi hotspots in public places such as cafes and hotels.
  • Use safe payment options such as PayPal or credit cards. Never send your bank or credit card details via email, as it’s not a secure method of transmitting financial information. Check your credit card statement frequently to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. When making a payment to an individual seller, never transfer the money directly into their bank account. Instead, use a secure payment site such as PayPal.

This article is part of a series for a campaign run by Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT) which is a team under ITPSS. For more info, do check out their website.

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