9 tips to avoid credit card theft online this Christmas
AUSTRALIANS plan to do nearly 40% of their Christmas shopping online this year despite many fearing their credit card or personal details will be stolen, according to new research by Symantec.
Nearly two-thirds of Australians worry most about having their credit card stolen, while half fear purchasing goods from fake or untrustworthy sites.
35% of those who responded to the research said they were fearful of falling victim to a data breach or having their login details leaked from an online retailer.
Amazingly, 16% said they weren't concerned by any of these risks at all.
Norton Online Shopping Safety Tips
1) If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Be aware of the cheap price tag as free or discounted goods could end up being really costly. So if you have found the latest hot designer shoes, but for a tenth of the price, regardless of how nice they may be for your office Christmas party, they are probably not real. Cybercriminals are experts at creating websites and making them look identical to your favourite brand sites. Only shop at reputable online sites and avoid getting your credit card scammed.
2) Beware of fake website links. Do not click on links in an email that appear to come from your favourite online store. Instead type the store's address into your browser to avoid going to a malicious website.
3) Be smart with your passwords. Protect your accounts with strong, unique passwords that use a combination of at least 10 upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers to help keep the bad guys at bay. Make it difficult for attackers to access your information by changing your passwords every three months and not reusing passwords for multiple accounts. That way, if a cybercriminal gets your password, they can't compromise all of your accounts. And if it is too overwhelming to keep up this practice, use a password manager to help.
4) Beware of phishing scams. Think twice before opening unsolicited messages or attachments, particularly from people you don't know, or clicking on random links. The message may be from a cybercriminal who has compromised your friend or family member's email or social media accounts.
5) Organise your online shopping. Set up an email account specifically to deal with online shopping. Provide as little information as possible to get the account set-up and don't use it for anything else such as online banking, business correspondence or family matters.
6) Protect your bank details. Always look out for the 'padlock' icon or the Norton Secured Seal when making a payment online. These symbols indicate that the website you are visiting uses encryption to protect you, so cybercriminals cannot capture your personal information. Never let a website 'remember' your credit card details, always retype them if you want to shop there again.
7) Online payments. Even though it is the season of goodwill, avoid using public or shared computers, or even a wireless network to make a payment online. Hackers can easily capture your account information, log-in details and steal your money. Use a separate credit card with a small credit limit for online purchases.
8) Is your internet security software up-to-date? Update your security software regularly, especially during the festive season. Cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever before and they will jump on any social trend to spread malware and steal your personal details.
9) Check your statements. Always check your credit card statements to look out for unexpected transactions.