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It’s almost that time of year – the season of giving – and if you like to get your holiday shopping out the way early or avoid the busy centres, it makes perfect sense to turn to online shopping for all your holiday gifting needs. In fact, online shopping options increase every year, with exclusive deals, beautiful wrapping options and affordable delivery – making it the perfect platform to get into the festive mood.

However, as e-commerce and online shopping increases, so too does the interest of cybercriminals towards these digital platforms – after all, eager shoppers can make for easy targets, particularly during the busy holiday period.

Kaspersky provides 5 quick tips to help you get through your online shopping safely and securely this holiday season:

  1. Know who you are buying from – research and check out reviews of online shopping sites if you haven’t used them before to decide if they are real and safe to use, before putting in your credit card details. Safe websites start with https://.
  2. Practice email safety – be careful what deals you check out or click on received via email and don’t open attachments from shopping sites you don’t know or trust as it could be a phishing message. This also includes your shipping confirmation email – make sure its legitimate before just clicking or opening the email.
  3. Pump up your passwords – mix letters, numbers and characters into your passwords to protect them from hacking. Ensure the passwords you use for online shopping are not the same as any of your banking passwords.
  4. Avoid adware like the shopping rush – read the fine print when you’re downloading freeware for your purchases. The fine print might include accepting ‘adware’ – advertising add-ons to your browser.
  5. Consider device protection – ensure you have a comprehensive security solution installed on any and all devices that you use for online shopping and make sure that it is up to date. And don’t make use of public, unprotected Wi-Fi to complete your shopping transactions.

The world of online shopping is wonderfully convenient, but also inherently risky. Forewarned is forearmed, so take note of these tips, be cautious and stay safe while looking for those perfect gifts. Don’t let cybercriminals steal your holiday cheer!