Written by Shackleton Technologies
Every Penny Counts
With the recent cost of living crisis, every penny counts right now, which is why efforts are being made to protect shoppers from being scammed out of money this festive period.
The National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency have joined forces via Action Fraud to launch a campaign to keep buyers secure online.
Prevalent scams in recent weeks have included ‘supermarket vouchers’ with a claim that they are related to popular UK supermarkets providing money off vouchers. Don’t be fooled (the clue is in the expiry date on the voucher).
Be sure to look up online or call the supermarket chain to check it you have a valid voucher. And don’t enter your details on any spoof websites such as shown below.
*Image taken from ‘spoofing site’
Royal Mail Texts
There are several Royal Mail fake texts currently circulating (just a few of these are listed below)
*All images of ‘Text Messages’ are courtesy of ‘Royal Mail’
If you want to look at Royal Mail’s website, they have a list of recent scams, including emails
How Can We Stay Safe Online?
Being ‘cyber aware’ this means taking some steps to protect your accounts.
Protect Your Account
Set-up 2FA (2-step verification) and set up some new random ‘word’ passwords (not related to any family or pets, or house numbers, etc) before you start shopping.
Do not shop online using ‘public Wi-Fi’. Stay safe shopping online.
Safeguard Your Online Shopping Experience.
1. Update Devices
Update your devices prior to making purchases online, updating your software to the latest version protects against vulnerabilities found in operating systems. Mobile phones should also be updated to the latest software.
2. Remove Saved Cards
Whilst it is tempting (from a convenience point of view) to save your card details for next time, it leaves you vulnerable, a hacker who gains access to your account (or device) could make purchases using the stored details for the account.
The less places you leave your card details, the less you are at risk of attack.
3. Email Promotions – Don’t Click Links
Cyber-attacks are at an all-time high this year and lots of promotions can hit your inbox offering codes, etc. Do not be tempted to click on and follow the links, instead visit the retailer’s website separately.
Copycat sites can often have just one additional letter or one less (i.e., amazonn.co.uk or amzon.co.uk) and lots of purchasers do not even notice.
4. Check The Security of The Site
Always ensure the website you are purchasing from has ‘HTTPS’ in the URL versus ‘HTTP’. The ‘S’ on the end encrypts data and personal information.
Research where you are purchasing from prior to committing to a sale, if you have not used that retailer before, look at reviews and confirm they are legitimate before following through with your purchase.
If you are following a link from an email promotion, double-check that the link has taken you to the actual website of that retailer and not to a spoof website.
A URL padlock check should always be combined with other checks that we have recommended. And remember not to trust social media adverts, check the branding for any inconsistencies, are they using the right logo etc.
5. Secure Payment
It is safer at Christmas to use a ‘credit card’ for payments online, rather than a ‘debit card’. Credit card companies are legally bound to refund you in certain circumstances, and it also means if your card is hacked that your bank account is not directly affected.
It is becoming more popular to use payment methods such as PayPal, Google or Apple Pay as secure payment methods. And remember to check for the closed padlock in the URL/web address bar which indicates a secure connection.
Don’t pay for anything via ‘bank transfer’ if it turns out to be a fake product or service it will be more difficult to get your money back from your bank.
If You Are Suspicious – Report the Issue
For more information, please visit cyberware.gov.uk or actionfraud.police.uk
How to Report
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, we suggest you contact your bank immediately and report to Police Scotland via 101.
If your business is looking to increase its cyber security awareness, along with a comprehensive cyber security strategy, please contact us for a FREE 30min consultation to see how Shackleton can help.
Get in touch with us today email@example.com. Stay safe shopping online this Christmas.
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