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Cyber Security Tips For Online Shopping

Posted by Kirk Studebaker // President | Oct 28, 2021 3:35:00 PM

Online shopping has become a way of life for many of us; the availability of anywhere and anytime shopping along with the ease of packages arriving directly on our doorstep has been a life-changing convenience for people.

According to Oberlo, 2.14 billion people around the globe shop online, and this number continues to climb. Unfortunately, there is a small population that takes advantage of both consumers' and businesses' personal data and information.

Phishing, malware and trojan horse virus packets are developed and distributed every single day through the medium we use most: email. In fact, phishing attacks are on the rise. Infosecurity Magazine reported that phishing attacks increased over 600% during 2020. Scam artists can use your email as a backdoor into your online world. So, how do you prevent these scammers from destroying your livelihood or business? Reach further to learn more. 

 

Phishing Scams

A phishing scam works by requesting personal information to overtake your private system or to steal your information for future use. It is the most straightforward form of identity theft and millions of people fall victim to it every single day. Why? Because the designers of phishing scams know precisely which buttons to press and the most common one is an attempt to lure you through easy money. If they have your basic personal information, they can attempt to infect your system with a malware program. Bank accounts, social security numbers and even private emails are all fair game. Cybercriminals often use this information to open new credit cards, make bank withdrawals or resort to blackmail.

The only way to not fall victim to a cybercriminal is to be able to recognize the common tactics used everyday. Essentially, do not open emails you do not recognize, understand how to recognize a phishing scam, and stay vigilant.


Here are some ways to know for sure that you are being targeted:

  • The email sender has many misspelled words or oddly placed periods in the text
  • They ask for sensitive information
  • They give you a random link to download 
  • They call you by your first name, but you don’t know who they are
  • The email domain is odd or suspicious
  • The hyperlink within the email body doesn’t work.

If you see any of these red-flag items, immediately inform your company’s cybersecurity department.

Secure Online Shopping

One of the great conveniences of online shopping is you often have the ability to store your personal, payment and shipping information. With all of that information available to companies, it is very easy for it to be plucked from thin air and commandeered by thieves. Here are a few ways to keep them at bay:

  • Only shop from stores you know, recognize and have researched. Reputable stores not only have a history of accepting and shipping online orders, but they also have enhanced firewalls for customer protection. This helps you and the company stay as safe as possible.

  • Only shop secure websites and there are a few ways to determine if a website is secure. Look at the address bar at the top of your website browser. The website address should begin with https:// and should have a padlock on the left side of the address bar. While this is not 100% foolproof, it is fairly reliable.

  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Are there amazing deals? Definitely! However, are all of them worth giving your credit card numbers to? Probably not. So, the next time you find yourself online shopping, be vigilant and stay smart about the purchases you make. 

  • If you pay with a card, only use credit, never debit. Debit links to your bank, while credit has a limit, and once met, it stops working. If a thief can access your bank, they have your whole financial life at their fingertips. If you can’t pay cash, credit is the safer way to go. Plus, credit card companies catch scammers with very impressive efficiency.

  • Change your passwords regularly and make them very strong. If you are an expert in the wonderful world of eclectic password creation, you have a marketable talent. If not, always use different letter cases, numbers, symbols, and never anything from your personal life. 

  • Shopping sites will only ask you the same basic set of questions to get your shipping and billing information. If you shop online quite often, you have encountered these typical questions. If you receive a question regarding what your social security number is or mother’s maiden name, do not answer. Majority of the time, those types of questions are only asked by your bank or various financial institutions.

 

Ask Our Team of Experts

When shopping online from your home or your business, keep in mind that computers have particular vulnerabilities that any cybercriminal could easily exploit. Be vigilant and keep the cybercriminals out of your online world.

Has your business been a victim of a phishing scam? Coordinated Business Systems Team is here to help. We can help you keep your data and network secure. Contact us today for a free network assessment from our team.

Topics: Managed IT

Written by Kirk Studebaker // President

Kirk has been in the Office Technology sector for 20 years working in the dealer world focused on supporting sales teams. Having worked for Manufacturers and dealers as well as his own entrepreneurial ventures, Kirk is dedicated to the development of people in the sales profession.

Outside of work Kirk has a wife and two children and enjoys being outside whether hunting or horseback riding.