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How to keep your personal information safe when ordering online

14 January, 2022

It has never been easier to shop online, with websites like Amazon, Argos and eBay promising same or next day delivery and auto-fill technology, putting an end to laborious typing-out of your card details.

However, it’s a convenience that comes with risk, because whenever your card details are used online, you could potentially be handing them over to a scammer.

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards online shopping. Equally, it has encouraged cybercriminals to take advantage by utilising a range of sophisticated methods to acquire card payment details and other personal information to steal money from shoppers.

For organisations, having the details of company credit cards stolen can pose a significant risk.

But how can you keep your personal information safe when ordering online? Join us as we share our top tips.

Check the website you are buying has a secure connection

You should always check that the website you are buying from has a secure connection, especially if it is one that you have not used before.

Luckily, it’s a simple check to do. Simply look for the padlock symbol next to the URL address in your browser, and ensure the website URL starts with ‘https’. This doesn’t guarantee that the website isn’t fraudulent, but it does mean that nobody can snoop on the traffic and steal your data.

It’s a useful way to spot a cloned website, which may look almost identical to the site you intended to visit. Always check the website address, as this will be slightly different if the website is a scam.

Research new websites you come across

Just because you found a deal via Google doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

If you have never heard of or used the website in question before, do some quick research to check that the company is legitimate - look for online reviews and whether the company is legally registered.

Avoid unsecured public WiFi

We’ve all been there, when the mobile signal is low and there’s an unsecured WiFi network available.

The temptation is real, but whether it’s public transport, a hotel, café, bar or restaurant providing public wi-fi connection, do not use the WiFi for checking your work email, accessing your online banking or making a purchase.

Public WiFi is never secure, so we recommend investing in a paid VPN, which will protect your traffic and prevent your information from being snooped on.

Use a credit card, Google Pay or PayPal

If you do end up the victim of a scam, using a credit card rather than a debit card provides a higher level of protection if your purchase is between £100 and £30,000.

Also, using a third party payment option such as Google Pay or PayPal can often be safer because you are not providing your card details directly to the merchant, limiting your exposure.

Don’t store your card details

Many online retailers will provide the option to save your card details to make it quicker to make payments in the future. However, this convenience comes with great risk, because if somebody gets access to your account, finding your card details is trivial.

As such, always choose not to save your card details and manually input them instead. The inconvenience is well worth it.

Check the details you asked to provide

When you’re completing any purchase, look carefully at what the website is asking for.

A scam website may ask for more details than would be necessary to complete a transaction. Bank authentication checks should only ask for 2 numbers from your security code.

f you feel you are being asked for too many details, cancel the transaction and report the website to the NCSC as soon as possible.

Train your team to reduce their risk

By following these tips and remaining aware of the risks that cybercriminals pose, you can reduce your personal risk of breach. Nevertheless, one question still remains, how do you improve the cyber awareness of your organisation?

At Bob’s Business, we provide industry-leading cybersecurity awareness training solutions. We will reduce your organisational risk of breaches by combining cutting edge data analysis with engaging, effective and entertaining training courses.

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Ready to build your cybersecurity culture?

Whether you’re looking for complete culture change, phishing simulations or compliance training, we have solutions that are tailor-made to fit for your organisation.

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