ESET sends out security warning to online Christmas shoppers

ESET Middle East has sent out a warning to consumers advising them to be extra cautious and alert when shopping online this holiday season.

Festivities, year–end bargains and Dubai Shopping Festival will see a rise in online shoppers – looking for the best deals for gifts and flights. Security advisor offers few tips to prevent cyber-shopaholics’ from being a potential target.

Aji Joseph, General Manager, ESET Middle East  said: “With easy access to the Internet, online shopping is on the rise as it provides consumers 24×7 convenience and best deals on one platform.  Though people are tech-savvy, people are still unaware of any potential threat or simply take security for granted. Consumers need to take necessary precautions, to guarantee a safer shopping experience.”

ESET advises a few simple safety rules for online shoppers:

Try and use credit instead of debit card: If you get scammed and try to get your money back you may have better luck with credit card transactions versus debit cards. Credit cards can put an extra layer of protection in between you and the criminals.

Buy from reputed and familiar sites that provide accurate descriptions of merchandise, and delivering it in good shape and on time.

Be wary of amazing deals, especially for offers on one of the latest products/ gadgets of the season. Also watch out for urgent deals that arrive in unsolicited email or purport to be from friends on social networking sites.

Look for SSL accreditation – the standard in secure transactions.  Using SSL encrypts the exchange of information, such as your credit card, so eavesdroppers cannot read it.

Always see https in front of the web address instead of http. There may also be a lock or key symbol in the browser window as well. If you need to do any shopping over Wi-Fi, at home or at a hotspot, make sure it is secure (look for the lock symbol in the Wi-Fi connection dialogue).

Get improved protection, by updating and patching your browser, operating system, and anti-malware suite.

Some malware are able to add questions to forms you use online. So if a shopping website asks for too much information relative to your purchase, abandon the transaction and run an anti-malware scan right away. Furthermore, don’t expect money for answering questions: when a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards just for answering a simple survey like “Do you use the Internet?” close it and move on.

Always password-protect your laptop, tablet, and smartphone so that, if lost or stolen, your data will be harder for strangers to access. Each of these devices should have a settings menu from which the security options should be readily accessible. Choose a password or code that is easy for you to remember but hard for other people to guess as well as back-up your data.

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