New York: Online shopping fraud and identity theft are on the rise. While hackers and fraudsters are developing new hacking methods, many online shoppers are still unaware of basic online privacy rules.
NordVPN (Virtual Private Network) has recently conducted a survey, where it was found that as many as one-third of respondents believe that various activities – such as checking email, logging into a social media account, shopping online or checking a bank account – are safe on public WiFi. While checking a bank account on a public hotspot is assumed to be very risky (less than 2% agree that is safe), entering banking credentials to make a purchase online is seen as a lesser risk (23% think it is safe).
“This points to a lack of understanding of just how vulnerable users can be on public networks, where the level of security is unknown and anyone with basic hacking skills can access sensitive data of everyone connected,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN.
E-commerce merchants will be spending $9.2 billion annually in fraud-detection by 2020, up 30 percent from current spending, according to Juniper Research.
Juniper said the number of U.S. identity-theft victims rose to a record 15.4 million last year from 13.1 million in 2015.
“Online fraud usually happens when people are not careful with their online activities – not using strong passwords, entering credit card information without making sure the website is not a fake, and doing any online transaction on unsecured hotspots,” said Kamden.
Here are the main rules to avoid online fraud:
The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.
2. Be wary
Being vigilant can help you a lot with the task of shopping online securely. Whenever a website requests for more information than is usually required, like your Social Service number or any other kind of personal information, it usually spells fraud. You should always be cautious before giving your personal or financial details anywhere on the internet.
3. Stay away from public terminals
It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous it is to share your personal or financial information with any website or any person over the internet while using a public internet connection. Public Wi-Fi networks are common hunting grounds for attackers and data snoopers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit at your expense. Since public networks have negligible security, you should try and avoid using them while making online payments. If you must do online transactions while using a public network, then you have to use a VPN to stay safe.
4. Use a VPN
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) encrypt Internet traffic on any website. They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure your Internet traffic is safe from prying eyes and remains confidential. NordVPN is one of the most advanced VPNs on the market that uses the latest encryption protocols. From the moment a user turns on NordVPN, their Internet data becomes encrypted. It becomes invisible to third party snoopers or hackers and even NordVPN. Being based in Panama, which is Internet-friendly country and does not require data storage or reporting, NordVPN keeps no user logs.
5. Stronger Passwords
Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account and cause severe damage. It’s always advised to change passwords in order to stay safe online, and that means having to use a unique password for each site or account. Apps such as 1Password for Families allow a family to share passwords, credit cards, and other sensitive information.