Social networking safety
It’s pretty common to see retailers offer special promotions to their Facebook and Twitter followers. But it’s also common to see a friend post a link saying “OMG, they’re giving away free tablets, click here to claim yours!”…and once you click, you’ve fallen into the trap. Not only can your PC and financial information be compromised, but the malicious link will automatically spread itself to all your friends to snare more victims.
Tip #1 – If you see a deal being promoted, go to the retailer’s official website to confirm it’s a legitimate offer. Don’t click on shared links without knowing that your friend purposefully shared it. As always, if a deal seems too good to be true - it probably is.
Shopping with mobile devices
Tablets and smartphones are more powerful than the PC that sat on your desktop a few years ago, and they’re perfect for comfortably shopping on the couch or on the go. In fact, SOASTA’s research shows that 44 percent of shoppers plan to purchase through an app or website on their tablet, and 34 percent plan to use their smartphone.
Even though these “computers” fit in your pocket, the same rules of PC protection apply – make sure to protect it with security software! Once a malicious program or application installs on your tablet, it can’t wait for you to access your bank account and steal your password.
Tip #2 – Any mobile computing device you use to connect to the Internet should have security software installed on it. Any mobile computing device used to purchase things from eBay, PayPal, Amazon needs to have security software installed on it.
No public Wi-Fi
Smartphones and tablets can help you stay on-top of deals and retail availability while at the mall searching for that hard-to-find gift. Even though your device is protected make sure the way you connect to the Internet is secure as well. That means staying off public Wi-Fi signals in public places. Use your 4G/3G phone data to connect online instead.
Cyber criminals know consumers are more likely to visit sites with login accounts or financial info during shopping season. They can easily monitor all the information sent across public Wi-Fi networks, which can include your bank account or credit card number.
Tip #3 – When outside your home network, disable the Wi-Fi connectivity of your smartphone. Most smartphones will automatically try to connect when a Wi-Fi signal is detected, so disabling this function will keep the data on your phone or tablet safe from prying eyes.
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.