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Cybersafe May 27, 2022

How to have a safe online shopping experience

Customers have the world at their fingertips. With the accessibility of shopping apps and websites, it’s now easier than ever to go shopping online. Anything you want is just a click away, and gets delivered right to your doorstep in a few days. The restricted movements during the pandemic made online deliveries crucial part of getting what we need, when we need it. 


However, with these new conveniences comes new risks. Fake goods, scam sellers and deceptive marketing all come into play when shopping online. To protect ourselves from being victims, one must be alert and wary when shopping online.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making an online purchase:


  • Be wary of phishing scams and voice phishing (vhishing).
    • Scammers looking to get your One-Time-Password (OTP) can call and pretend to be your bank or credit card company. Some may even say you have won a contest and they need to verify your identity. Never give your credit card information, online banking credentials or OTP over the phone. 


    • As a security measure, most banks will send you an email or text message whenever your online account is logged into. These are merely informational emails. Banks will not ask you to update your login credentials. Always check if the email address or number is the same as the ones officially used by your bank.


  • Protect your credit card information. 
    • While it might be convenient to not have to check your physical card for your credit card information, do not save it on a cloud. This makes it vulnerable to data breaches or hacks as soon as criminals find out your login credentials. 


  • Frequently update your passwords and enable two-party authentication.
    • Two-party authentication is a security feature that requires a second security code to proceed with payment. Always enable your card to verify a transaction via one-time-passwords. If you frequently shop online, change your passwords frequently, and always keep the information in a safe place.


  • Transact only on trusted selling platforms.
    • Websites will accept payment on your behalf without sharing your payment details with the seller. They also provide a digital receipt for all purchases made, serving as proof of sale. By transacting on these verified sites, you are both assured that your payments are secured and the goods you purchase are legitimate. 


    • Transact only on secure websites with valid security certificates, or on verified third-party gateways. Trusted brands often have official websites or official accounts on shopping applications which use secure payment channels. This will prevent hackers from accessing your credit card information through dubious payment channels, which they could later use to make unauthorized purchases on your account.


  • After receiving packages, consider blacking out your personal information or destroying that portion altogether on the receptacle sticker on the package before throwing it.


    • Some fraudsters will get personal information from the labels attached to the plastic wrapping the package after it has been disposed of. To protect your personal data, use a marker to erase your delivery address and contact number, or completely destroy that portion of the wrapping or package.


It can be exciting and fun to open a package you’ve been waiting to receive. There’s a grand sigh of relief let out after receiving the item you’ve long waited for. If you are mindful of these tips and remain vigilant when making your purchase online, your internet shopping experience will be a grand one.