By Alun Baker, CEO of Clario Tech Ltd.
As shoppers increase their spending on Christmas presents and hit the January sales, festive shopping can be a risky activity.
Financial transactions are the most common attack point for cybercriminals. Cybercriminals are increasingly using mobile to ply their trade, as evidenced by a 680 percent increase in fraud transactions from mobile apps for the last 4 years. Fraud losses on UK-issued cards totaled £671.4 million in 2018 and growing during 2019. As a cybersecurity champion we at Clario have compiled tips for those who don’t want to become a victim of criminals this winter.
- Avoid online tracking to get better deals
You will probably look through a bunch of online shops to compare prices. When you visit a certain website repeatedly, it can recognise you as a returning customer by using cookies, the small files it places on your computer or phone. Returning customers often don’t get special offers and discounts that are aimed at new visitors. You can easily pretend to be a new customer by shopping in incognito or private mode.
- Get a prepaid card or a virtual disposable card for online shopping
If you shop using your primary debit or credit card, your risks are quite high should a hacker get hold of your card details. In order to avoid trouble, try getting an additional card for holiday shopping only. You can obtain a prepaid card — which is also a good way of controlling your spending limit, too. Or, you can get a virtual disposable card that will expire after a single purchase is made. The additional advantage of a virtual card is that it can be created online quickly. (Revolut and Starling UK banks are issuing these cards)
- Train your memory — and remove the CVV on your card
Memorise, then scrape or paint over the CVV code on the back of your card before you go shopping. Even if your card gets in the hands of a thief working in a store, they won’t be able to make use of it. If you struggle to remember your passwords, you might want to leave yourself a hint but do make sure it is stored in a well-hidden place, not on a paper in your wallet.
- Be mindful of vishing
Vishing — voice phishing or, in other words, phone fraud — is on the rise. In a simple scenario, criminals may impersonate your bank’s representative and ask for your account details on the phone. In a trickier case, you can unknowingly get a malicious program that will spy on your calls to the actual bank and record your sensitive conversations for the benefit of hackers. To avoid the resulting theft, don’t allow any suspicious apps on your phone and never provide account details during a call that wasn’t initiated by you.
- When you receive a gift card as a present — don’t use it for payments elsewhere
Gift cards, such as the ones by Amazon or Tesco, may resemble a payment instrument. Once you provide someone a code on the back of the card, they can use it to buy goods from the card issuer — almost like they would do it with a bank card. The difference is, bank card payments are traceable, and gift card shopping is anonymous. That’s what cybercriminals need! So, if anyone persuades you to pay for their goods or services with a gift card, they are most certainly scammers.
How to spot fake websites this festive season
Each year, more of us opt to do our festive shopping online which has led to a rise in online scams. Leading cybersecurity champion Clario has revealed their top tips to spot fake sites, and protect yourself. They tend to be split into two camps, security alerts, and suspicious content. Read on for must-know tips…
Watch out for security alerts…
- Browser warnings. All major browsers have tools to identify malicious, phishing and otherwise unsafe websites. They display a warning when you try to go to an unsafe website.
- URL bar status. Normally, you’ll see a locked padlock icon at the beginning of a web address bar. If you visit an unsafe website, your browser will likely display a warning icon in that place.
- Do a quick assessment on Google. Transparency Report by Google allows you to check whether a certain website is dangerous.
Suspicious website content can include…
- Aggressive pop-up ads. These may appear on the initially malicious websites or on the legitimate ones that were hacked. In any case, aggressive pop-ups are a sign you should take seriously
- Poor design and spelling. Many fraudulent websites are created quickly and unprofessionally, which results in low-quality appearance.
- Unusually low prices and lack of review fields. Fake online shops try to lure victims with incredibly good deals and, naturally, don’t allow revealing comments.
- No legal details about the company. Lack of contacts and physical address of the website owner is a red flag, too.
Finally, always remember if an offer is too good to be true it is very likely to be fraudulent!
Clario Tech Limited is a London-based cybersecurity company. It was founded in 2019 to disrupt the security software industry by securing people’s digital lives with a human, customer-focussed approach to cybersecurity and act as a consumer champion. Led by CEO Alun Barker, Clario employs more than 800 people including a large number of Apple Certified Tech experts and is launching its new product in Q1 2020.
Alun Baker, CEO, Clario
Alun Baker has more than 20 years’ experience in growing and transforming technology companies like Oracle, Merrill, Accenture. He also founded the first Careers & Mentoring social network, When You Grow Up.
Baker is driving Clario to revolutionise and disrupt an entire industry currently characterised by complex, technology-based messaging that drives fear and confusion into the consumer market. As our digital lives grow, he believes that consumers need a champion in an overly complex cybersecurity industry.
An avid Welsh Rugby supporter, he stays active by running half marathons, playing golf and skiing.
The post #Privacy: Avoid giving cybercriminals your data this season appeared first on PrivSec Report.