It is a known fact that online shopping has been in the increase over the years. It is also a known fact that the Holiday season, starting very shortly, is the busiest shopping time of the year. Put those two facts together and it becomes obvious that the online shopping volume is about to experience a very high level.
This fact has not gone unnoticed by the bad guys. They are preparing too. Here’s a few tips to avoid this online shopping season spike a disaster for buyers:
- Careful when looking for deals through a search engine (like Google, Bing, etc). To the untrained eye, some of top search results might seem innocuous. But through what’s called Black Hat SEO techniques (SEO = Search Engine Optimization), scam websites can be brought up artificially in the search ranks, which means they show first in your search results, and when the user clicks on that result, he can inadvertently land his computer on a malicious website that will attempt to infect it. So instead, try searching by going directly to a known trusted store’s website and searching from within.
- Most users are familiar with pop-up ads. Be extra careful with pop-up ads announcing holiday season deals, and try to avoid the temptation of clicking on any. It’s another known method of attempting to make you land on a malicious website that will attempt through various methods to infect your computer or steal your information.
- Be alert for suspicious emails announcing deals with file attachments. The probabilities that those are malicious are mighty high. Discard them.
- Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and so on, will also experience their share of scams. The usual method is using compromised accounts to announce unusually tempting deals with links to take advantage of such. Stay alert and be aware of these.
- If you know how to “turn up” your computer security setup, do so while doing online shopping. it might be the difference between successful online shopping and being the victim of online scams. Ask an expert if you need help upping your security level while doing online shopping.
Hope this tips help you have an uneventful holiday season online shopping experience.