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Online shopping and cybercrime: tips to stay safe

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A recent survey by McAfee Corp showed that 68.1% of Indians have increased their online shopping activity this year because of the pandemic.

Do you shop online? Are your bank details safe online?

Currently, there is every reason in the world to shop online. The bargains are there. Shipping is fast. Returns are easy. And there are absolutely no chances of coming in contact with anyone considering the pandemic. Shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers. There is a complete shift in the way consumers are shopping post the pandemic. Right from grocery, medicines to fashion, customers are preferring convenience for everything and online retailers are providing it.

But what about the cons that it brings along? Yes, shopping online can come at a cost if you fall prey to a cyberattack. With hacks, scams, malware and more, the internet can feel like a dangerous place these days. But the good news is that by taking some basic measures, we can significantly reduce your exposure to all these threats.

Let’s take a look at 5 internet safety tips to follow while shopping online…

#1 Click smart

Think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments. Even if an email looks familiar, take that extra second before you click or download a suspicious file. Don’t click on unknown links or reply to emails that are from unknown senders.

#2 Choose the payment options wisely

Using a credit card is much better than using a debit card, there is more consumer protection for credit cards if something goes wrong. Or, you can use a third-party payment service instead of your credit card. There are many services you can use to pay for purchases – like Google Pay — without giving the merchant your credit card information directly.

#3 Avoid public Wi-Fi for purchases

If you like to shop to kill your time while you are waiting at the airport or in the cafe, you shouldn’t use the public Wi-Fi to make your purchase. An unsecured Wi-Fi connection means that when you log in to shop and type in your credit card info to make a purchase, you are potentially giving your info to hackers who might have tapped into the same connection. That hot ecommerce deals will have to wait until you are able to shop through a secure network.

#4 Be a selective sharer

These days, there are a lot of opportunities to share our personal information online. Just be cautious about what you share, particularly when it comes to your identity information. This can potentially be used to impersonate you, or guess your passwords and logins.

#5 Create complex passwords

While it’s simpler to use a short, easy-to-remember password, this can also pose serious risks to your online security. To protect yourself and your information, you have to use passwords that are long, strong, and difficult for someone else to guess. With the help of a strong password you can keep your personal info safe, protect your emails, files, and other content. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

With attacks becoming more sophisticated, shoppers need to be extra cautious when looking for the latest bargains online. Shopping online should be secure and enjoyable, and with these cybersecurity tips, you can stay safe while you shop.

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