Protect Yourself Shopping Online

How to protect when shopping with mobile
How to Protect yourself when Shopping Online with your Mobile?

Protect yourself shopping online is the need of the times. Australia now has launched an official 5 G Network which means more speed and reach of the internet. This means more and more people will now use this service to shop online. Recently many news reported cyber security attacks that were faced by Australians shopping online through their web PC or mobile.  Also, Australians are forgoing online privacy and safety measures for the sake of scoring a bargain.

About 30 per cent of shoppers have fallen prey to cybercrime in the past year, to the tune of $1.3 billion in total, Norton’s cyber safety insight report stated. Norton further noted that 21 per cent of mobile users didn’t even know that their device was at risk of being or have been hacked.

Norton’s report showed that while 89 per cent of Australians want to do more to protect their privacy and safety online, half of them lack the knowledge to do so. While 73 per cent of Australians say they’re more worried than ever about their online privacy and safety, 68 per cent admitted they take risks in favour of convenience.

In PayPal’s trend report of May 2019, it was found that a third of young buyers are using their smartphones, shunning traditional desktops for shopping. Cybercrime expert Julian Plummer, who is the managing director of Midwinter Financial Services in Sydney agreed that users were laxer about mobile security, compared to that of a laptop.

According to Mr Plummer as mobile becomes increasingly de rigueur the security risk to consumers will only rise. Mr Plummer added that there were two main ways that mobile users were being hacked by cyber crims: Phishing, and over-public wi-fi networks.

Hackers are getting smarter and smarter when it comes to phishing, which traditionally involves tricking users into clicking through on a corrupted link, or eking out sensitive, personal information. Sophisticated criminals are now impersonating big-name brands, hijacking trusted reputations.

How to Protect Yourself Shopping Online On Your Mobile

If you are addicted to online shopping with your mobile then you need to protect yourself.

1. Avoid using free WIFI

Protect Yourself Shopping Online
Avoid using free WIFI

Though Free wi-fi might be tempting, it’s not always as good as it seems. While many Australians happily log into free wi-fi, Mr Plummer advises using a high degree of caution.

“It used to be that seeing a padlock in the URL bar meant that the site was safe, but now hackers are ‘securing’ their sites using cheap security certificates to provide a false sense of security,” Mr Plummer warned.

“Hackers use a ‘wi-fi pineapple’ to mimic a public wi-fi access point,” he explained. “Unfortunately, logging on to these malicious wi-fi access points allows hackers to intercept any unencrypted personal data. Always be very wary when connecting to an untrusted wi-fi network – especially overseas.”

Note that the ‘S’ in HTTPS, incidentally, stands for secure. Websites that use HTTPS cause data sent between the site and your web browser to be encrypted through the use of TLS (Transport Layer Security). That means that any information, such as your credit card details, can’t be intercepted in plaintext form by an external attacker.

2. Your Passwords should be Strong

Your Passwords should be Strong
Your Passwords should be Strong

Often one overlooks their passwords and uses short and simple passwords. The crucial thing for mobile phone users is to stop reusing passwords. With a major security breach happening almost on a monthly basis, if hackers were to get your password from one shopping website, they then have access to all your online accounts if you re-use your password.

It goes without saying: Don’t use ‘password123’. This means you should have a strong password with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters and over 10 characters lengthwise.

3. Use Password Manager Apps

Use Password Manager Apps
Use Password Manager Apps

Password Manager Apps that keep all of your passwords in one spot are highly appealing. With mobile, you can have them on you at all times and the security isn’t half bad. You can also use these to set more complex, less vulnerable passwords without the need to remember all of them. One can use a password manager, such as LastPass, Dashlane and various others to keep yourself safe.

4. Keep your Mobile OS up to Date

Keep your Mobile OS up to Date
Keep your Mobile OS up to Date

The main reason manufacturers provide updates is to close off security loopholes within their devices. Hackers are well versed in any security bugs in your mobile device, so make sure you have automatic updates turned on for your mobile phone. These updates are generally accompanied by improved usability, additional features and an enhanced user experience. 

Download and install updates to whatever operating system you are using as soon as possible after being alerted that they are available. They may contain urgent security fixes. Other types of updates correct errors or enhance functionality within the operating system, and are not necessarily security related. They also detect which of their manufacturers’ other programs you are running on your device and provide updates to these as well.

Not keeping your operating system up to date can result in serious issues, affecting both your device and your own personal security. Like viruses, spyware and other malware, cybercrime attacks and others. When updates are made available for your mobile device operating system, they will be downloaded and installed automatically when the device is connected to the internet.

5. Browse and Shop Smart

Browse and Shop Smart
Browse and Shop Smart

You have to check the online shopping stores’ credibility and shop smart. There are tons of online shopping apps and stores. But not all stores are fair and secure. You need to be cautious, as fraudsters often create fake and professional-looking websites to lure in unsuspecting victims.

Always try to buy online using Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Apple, Google and other reputed online stores. These stores have their inbuilt security system that can keep your data and online transaction safe and secure.

So next time you think of shopping online with your mobile consider these safety tips before you tap to shop now.

About the author

Kamal Kaur