This year we’ve been more dependent on online shopping than ever before. Our reliance on online deliveries made us question how we’d have coped if coronavirus happened in a time where online retailers were less sophisticated in their technology. That being said, whilst more of us have been shopping online, cybercrime has been on the rise too. In the first 100 days of the pandemic, covid-related spam messages were increase by 26% and impersonation attacks were up by 30%!
With an increase in both online shopping and cyber-attacks, it’s more important than ever to be careful when purchasing online. To help you #BeSafeThisChristmas whilst picking your purchases, here are our top five tips for shopping online.
1. Choose passwords that are hard to decipher
First things first - never share your passwords with anyone. Passwords should be complex and difficult to decipher, using a combination of numbers, letters, and alphanumeric symbols. If you’re using a laptop or mobile device, it’s a good idea to make sure that this is encrypted as well. We know it can be frustrating to keep switching your password, remember it’s all in a bid to keep your data safe… and this is even more important when your bank details are involved!
2. Only use trusted devices
Make sure you only access sensitive data like your card details on a device you trust. Don’t shop on public devices (such as in an internet café), or on other public networks. If you have your own wireless network, encrypt it to ensure that others can’t access your personal information.
3. Get anti-virus software
You should protect your devices using anti-virus software. You can usually pick these up for free (or at least cheap!), and did you know that you can get this software for your phone too?
You should also be aware of potential email scams and how to avoid them. For example, if you receive an email from your bank asking you to input personal information, call them on a telephone number detailed on your latest bank statement. This will give you confidence that the information you’re being asked for is legitimate. Never input any personal data, or click on any web links, unless you’ve first verified the source.
4. Use retailers that are familiar to you
Ask your friends and relatives for recommendations, as well as reading online reviews to help understand if the retailer is legitimate. Have a browse of their website as well – it’ll soon become apparent if it’s a scam!
5. Check your bank statements regularly
Make sure to check your bank statements each month for any payments that you don’t recognise. If you spot a purchase that you haven’t made, give your bank a call to let them know and to find out if you’re eligible for compensation. Make sure to destroy any bank statements once you’ve reviewed them to ensure no-one can access your bank details.
Protecting your gadgets this Christmas
This year we’ve all been more reliant on our technology than normal. Insuring your gadgets is a great way of making sure your favourite tech is always protected. And should anything happen to your favourite gadgets, you won’t be without them for long.