How to Protect Yourself Online From Cyber-criminals This Shopping Season

With the holiday shopping season here, scammers are gearing up to take advantage of it. Cybercriminals know that there will be thousands of persons shopping online and will try to lure some into their traps in order to steal their credit card information, usernames, passwords, and other information that they will need in order to rip them off. Please try not to be a victim by protecting yourself online. Scammers trick persons into downloading malicious programs and send them to fake websites impersonating legitimate ones, in order to steal their information and money.

How to Protect Yourself Online From Cyber-criminals This Shopping Season
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Tips to Help Protect You Online

  1. DO NOT shop online using a free unsecured wireless (Wi-Fi) connection at coffee shops, airports or other Wi-Fi hotspots.
  2. DO NOT use a public computer to shop online. Publicly accessible internet connections and computers may put you at risk of someone stealing your credit card and other personal information.
  3. Use passwords that are difficult to hacked or guessed. When creating a password, use a combination of letters (upper and lower cases), numbers and special characters (!,@,#,$,%*,&,?) and ensure that it is at least 8 characters long.
  4. Do not click on links in e-mail messages, on social networking websites or anywhere that go to the login pages of your bank, PayPal account, e-mail accounts or anything else that requires a login. Please type the website address or URL in your browser and go directly to the main website and from there; you can then navigate to the login or sign-in page.
  5. Ensure that you have an anti-virus software on your computer before you start shopping online. There are a lot of free and paid anti-virus softwares that you can install on your computer to protect it when browsing online. Click here to view the top 5 free antivirus software. Anti-virus softwares cannot totally protect you online so, do not recklessly browse online because you have an anti-virus software installed; you should still use common sense.
  6. If you receive any notification that your computer is infected and that you need to purchase an anti-virus software to remove the infection, please ignore. There are fake anti-virus softwares that will infect your computer with malwares.
  7. Purchase goods online from popular websites. These are websites that have been around a long time.
  8. When you are on a check-out page, ensure that the URL or domain name address in the browser's address bar starts with "https://". The "https://" means that the information transmitted between your computer and the website is secured. If there is "https://" in the browser's address bar but the browser reports that there is a problem with the security certificate (SSL) or it has expired, do not check-out.
  9. If you are given an offer that is too good to be true, ask friends, family and people online(online forums) for information to help verify the authenticity of the offer. Scammers will setup thousands of fake advertisements online this holiday season.
  10. There are a lot of fake charity websites setup by scammers. Be careful when donating your hard-worked money. For a list of legitimate charities online, click here.
  11. Avoid clicking on links in Skype instant messaging. Skype instant messaging is being used by hackers to send instant messages with links to malicious programs like Trojan, virus and other malware. If you click on any of the malicious links, your computer will be infected with a malware. This malware will send other malicious link to all your Skype contacts.
  12. Be careful when purchasing mobile applications. It is reported that most third-party Android mobile stores do not check the applications that are being sold in their stores. So, you may purchase a malicious mobile application that captures your credit card and other important information and send it to the criminals responsible for these applications. The safest place to purchase android applications is at Google Play.
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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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  • December 20, 2018 at 6:52 AM by an anonymous user from: Naples, Campania, Italy

    Even I am victim of online scam. They robbed me of 49.95. I do not know what to do.

    • December 20, 2018 at 7:08 AM by info

      Open a dispute with your bank to have your money refunded.

  • November 29, 2013 at 7:01 AM by an anonymous user from: Singapore, Central Singapore, Singapore

    I really like all this tips. Because its always very very painful to be a victim of all this scammers and fraud website. Mainly because i had experienced that before

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How to Protect Yourself Online From Cyber-criminals This Shopping Season