Saturday, December 4

Safe Online Shopping and Other Seasonal Tips

The Friday after Thanksgiving takes place on Black Friday, in which different sales are observed on products and services.

It is a day considered by specialists as ideal to take advantage of pre-Christmas shopping. The following Monday is also Cyber Monday, an activity promoted in the United States to motivate e-commerce, so these are dates when purchases are usually present and it is important to pay attention to certain details.

Finance experts, for example, suggest keeping a budget for different purchases. If necessary, use a mobile application or a document to help you organize yourself better.

Establish the items you need, what you hope to find, and don’t forget to prioritize what you need. Key questions during this time are: How much are you willing to spend? and How much is the total of what you need? Don’t leave anything out.

But, this is not the only recommendation for you because it is also important to take care of your safety when shopping.

Online offers

Virtual criminals take advantage of the offers of this season to try to deceive users and it is important to be vigilant so as not to fall into traps. Common sense and caution are certainly important.

According to Kaspersky research for Latin America, in 2019 the probability of suffering a financial phishing attack increased by up to 24 percent during the periods of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, compared to the rest of the year.

“Cybercriminal organizations are always looking for events that allow them to take advantage of people. In this age, people are willing to buy and spend, but if we don’t do it the right way, we can be left vulnerable to attacks and threats, ”says Gustavo Chapela, Director of KIO Cyber ​​Security at KIO Networks.

Currently the days known as Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday mark the beginning of Christmas sales. (Free Press Photo: courtesy KIO Networks)

The expert suggests that companies and businesses not only focus on marketing their products, offers and low prices, but should also design security solutions for online purchases so that people feel more secure at the moment. time to buy.

In addition, he adds that any company, business or corporation that has a presence on the internet, should seek the advice of an expert in cybersecurity, in order to verify that its infrastructure and servers have robust protection measures.

And to protect the user’s account, the main advice is to integrate a second identification factor (token). For example, Google and other companies offer this service for free.

Checking that the messages from brands or companies about offers are real or come from real pages is an important step before buying online. (Free Press Photo: courtesy ESET Latin America)

For their part, experts comment that the possibility of finding offers online usually causes users to lower their guard against different security measures when buying online, which ends up causing deception or scams.

“When it is close to special dates or events related to electronic commerce, these attract cybercriminals to carry out attacks related to deceptive communications, identity theft of sellers, and even fake stores. That is why users must take into account a series of recommendations to take advantage of the benefits offered safely on the Internet ”, says Martina López, IT Security Researcher at ESET Latin America.


Before buying items and promotions read the following information:

  • Use a single payment method, so you don’t have to put the card number on different pages. One option is to have a PayPal account, since that company is exclusively dedicated to electronic payments and does not require that the user have to give their data whenever they make a transaction.
  • It is advisable to use the pages of large companies, They are corporations that invest in cybersecurity and offer greater support to consumers. So choose merchants and brands with verifiable reputations and seek customer reviews whenever possible. Also do it on pages that have been used by friends and family.
  • Avoid buying from dubious sites at all costs, because the risks increase in little known portals.
  • Check that the messages of the brands or companies about unmissable offers are real. It is important to note that it may be a case of phishing, or fraudulent communications where cybercriminals seek to steal various credentials, money or install malicious files on the computer. Some indicators of phishing They are: The sender (either his email address, telephone number or social media user) is not officially related to the entity he claims to represent, the means of communication is unusual (for example, a bank communicating on Twitter) , the constant insistence to enter a site or download a file to obtain a great benefit offered for free or solve a serious problem, and a time limit (24 hours, one week from the opening of the mail, among others) to carry out the action requested.
  • Use the official sites and / or social networks of the shops to make purchases. One of the most common attacks in limited offers events is the theft of money or credit information through fake sites, impersonating popular companies, and taking advantage of the urgency that exists in users that exist offers and discounts for a limited time
  • Finally, and especially in cases where payments are made online, Check that the site where it operates has encryption in its communications. This means that, when transferring data, they are not readable by those who might intercept the connection. To do this, the URL of the site must begin with “https: //” or have the famous padlock to the left of it.

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