More and more people are doing their shopping online especially during the holiday season when heavy traffic, congested malls, and long lines can be a deterrent to even the most committed shoppers. The sheer convenience of simply clicking on items and having them delivered to your door is something many people are finding hard to resist.
Online shoppers, however, are advised to take basic steps to protect themselves from the increasing threat of online crime. According to HSBC, one in seven internet users fall victim to cybercrime each day.
Cybercriminals and hackers make big business out of stealing data and money from organizations.
There are many forms of cyber scams, like phishing, spoofing, and clickbait, but HSBC says they all rely on criminals encouraging victims to download malicious software or hand over personal information which then enables them to steal money, data, and even identities.
Some of the tactics fraudsters use include sending emails and text messages containing bogus links, setting up fake websites, hacking insecure wireless networks, and making phone calls pretending to be from a bank.
Kris Werner, Head of HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management in the Philippines, says it is more important than ever that people don’t forget to stay safe shopping online.
Taking some basic steps will help people avoid cyber-crime risk. In the same way that you wouldn’t walk down your shopping streets with your wallet wide open, don’t share personal information or bank account details on social media, or in emails, and never reveal your PIN number. At the same time, make sure your computers and smartphones are protected with the latest updates, anti-virus software and have automatic locks enabled with password protection.
Here are seven steps online shoppers can take to protect themselves:
- Not over-sharing on social media and other websites. Criminals use personal information such as birthdays, addresses, and phone numbers to hack into accounts.
- Watching out for fake emails, text messages, and websites. Reputable companies will never send unsolicited emails asking their customers to verify their personal and security details.
- Never divulging bank PIN number to anyone. Banks never ask for cards (and PINs) to be returned via a courier.
- Making sure wireless networks are secure by turning on all the privacy settings and password protection.
- Using passwords to automatically lock and protect mobile phones or tablets.
- Installing anti-virus software and downloading the latest security updates for computers, tablets and mobile devices.
- Destroying paper documents carefully. Some fraudsters go through rubbish bins to find useful information.