As Republic Day is approaching, there are online shopping deals everywhere. There are deals on the web; deals on various social media platforms, via SMS, WhatsApp and Messenger; and deals in email, as online retailers attempt to lure shoppers to buy from them.
With brands relentlessly advertising and fighting for attention, cyber attackers have plenty of camouflage for their phishing emails and fake sites, from fake offers that really are too good to be true to a number of excuses for drumming up a bit of false urgency and demanding a login (Check your order! Verify your account! Register now!).
While it is difficult to avoid shopping online on Republic Day, here are some tips that can help safeguard shoppers from scammers online every day- before, during and after such peak retail seasons.
5 simple tips shared by Sophos to ensure online safety during Republic Day sale
- If it looks too good to be true, it is: Scams make wild claims and use familiar brands or friends and family to make them seem trustworthy. Stay alert, and if something seems off, it probably is.
- Turn on 2FA wherever you can: 2FA, short for two-factor authentication, usually refers to those one-time login codes that you need to type in together with your username and password when logging in. This can be annoying at times, and it means that you can’t login on your laptop if you don’t also have your phone handy, because most services rely either on a one-time text message to your phone, or a special mobile app, for supplying the needed codes. But that small extra hassle for you makes it very much harder for the crooks to mess with your accounts, even if they figure out your password.
- Use a password manager: Password managers create, remember and enter passwords for you, and they won’t enter your password into a phishing site, no matter how convincing it looks.
- Consider using a pre-paid debit card for one-off purchases: If you’re determined to purchase from a retailer you don’t know much about, a low-value pre-paid debit card can help you limit your risk.
- Use a web filter: Web filters stop you from browsing websites that are known to be used for scams, phishing or spreading malware.