The festive season is officially here! The Christmas trees are out of the cupboards, the stockings are ready to be filled and the carols are ready to be sung. For many of us, Christmas is a time where we get to spend quality time with family and friends while spoiling them with delicious food and special gifts. For some, the Christmas shopping is already done and the presents wrapped, but for others, including us, the Christmas shopping is going to have to happen online this year.
And while online shopping can save you time and hassle, it does come with its downfalls. Because so many people have turned to online stores to get their Christmas shopping done, the number of cyber hacks tend to increase over the festive season.
We’ve put together some cybersecurity tips to make sure you don’t have to deal with stolen credit card details over the festive season.
Don’t use the same passwords
Which ever platfrom you choose to shop on, whether it’s Takealot, Woolies or Superbalist, make sure that you don’t use the same password to log into each store. Yes, it’s much easier to use one password, but you run the risk of all your accounts being hacked if the password gets stolen. Our advice is to use complex passwords and keep them someplace safe, for example on KeePas or LastPass.
Don’t email your credit card details, ever
We all know that frustrating feeling when the payment won’t go through and you’re tempted to email the seller your details to process the order at a later stage. Don’t do it! Email can easily be hacked and your credit card details stolen.
Stay away from login links on emails
Unfortunately, this happens to the best of us! You get an email prompting you to log into an account to change a few details here and there and the next thing you know, there’s money leaving your account without your permission. With so many promotion deals flying around over the festive season, it’s the perfect chance for cybercrooks to use fake “phishing” emails to get your login details. Never log into any online account directly from an email link, always open a new browser and enter the site from the official page to view transactions or change details.
Update your software
This is a simple one. Make sure that your devices, especially the ones you’re doing the shopping on, are updated with the latest software. One of the easiest ways for cyber thieves to hack into accounts is by hacking software that is outdated and full of bugs.
Avoid Public WiFi
Even though you may be tempted to shop online while sitting in your favourite cafe sipping on a latte, it is never a good idea! WiFi networks use public airwaves, which means that with a little know-how, someone can quite easily intercept your shopping spree, gather all your details, and do some shopping of their own…at your expense that is.
And finally, practice smart online shopping with your whole family, all year round. Make sure that your kids know these basic safety tips and ensure that they follow these tips when shopping online. Here’s to a happy, safe festive season!