7 Safe Ways to Shop Online and Avoid Phishing Scams

7 Safe Ways to Shop Online and Avoid Phishing Scams

Faculty of Computer and Engineering – For those of you who love surfing the internet, especially shopping online, you need to be cautious about phishing scams. According to Cermati, phishing can drain your digital wallet balance without you even realizing it.

The easiest way to tackle issues like phishing websites is by using web security software. However, this method is more effective if you implement it on the computer or device you use to browse the internet.

In addition, it’s important to note that keeping personal data secure is crucial, especially in today’s digital era. This article is part of our efforts at Alma Ata University to raise awareness about data and technology security. We want to ensure that our Informatics students, who have achieved top marks in Information Systems, can apply their knowledge to protect personal data in this digital age.

In this context, we also want to highlight our commitment as the best private university to providing quality education and supporting top programs like Midwifery in achieving high performance.

So, what’s the solution? We will provide a detailed guide in this article along with preventive tips. Let’s explore together the “7 Safe Ways to Shop Online to Avoid Phishing Threats.” Don’t miss out on this important information, guys!

1. Don’t Respond to Data Update Requests

Don’t trust phone calls or emails claiming to be from your bank or other institutions. Banks usually recommend that you visit a branch directly to update your data. If not, you should handle it yourself without any bank interference.

Don’t act rashly and hastily click on emails or links within them, including calendar invites. Always be cautious, especially if the email requests personal information like phone numbers, bank accounts, etc.

2. Beware of Surveys Offering Prizes

Phishing scams are often carried out easily via the internet, such as survey requests with enticing prizes. Filling out online surveys is common, but you need to be cautious if the questions involve sensitive financial data like PINs, bank account numbers, mother’s maiden name, or OTP codes.

Not all online surveys are scams, but you need to be vigilant. Ensure that emails don’t contain malware and that survey links are safe.

Be cautious if a survey asks for personal or bank data. Make sure the survey is not a scam. Remember, not all online surveys are scams, but you need to be more vigilant.

If you’re asked to provide sensitive personal and bank information or to send money to claim a survey prize, don’t do it!

3. Watch Out for Cheap Products and Big Discounts

Phishing through online transactions is often executed via offers of cheap products, business proposals, prize offers, and more. Be wary of “ads” that seem too good to be true, as they might be phishing traps. Be cautious with online ads (sponsors) as they can be detrimental if your data gets stolen.

Don’t get trapped on phishing websites. Make sure you type in the correct website and domain. A single wrong letter, even if the name looks similar, can lead you to the wrong site.

For example, shopping online on unfamiliar sites might have huge discount ads. Who doesn’t get tempted by cheap goods? Some might think it’s okay to get scammed for a small amount.

But remember, what they’re after is not the money but your personal data. If your data is compromised, the perpetrator can use your bank account and credit card for unauthorized transactions. Scary, right?

4. Use Strong Passwords

Don’t forget to change your passwords regularly, at least every three months. Check all your digital transaction passwords, from banking accounts to e-commerce accounts and digital wallets.

Always enable two-step verification, such as phone/SMS and email verification. This is important because if there is any suspicious login activity from a different device/country/location, you will be notified.

5. Keep Your OTP and Personal Data Confidential

Never ignore this. OTP codes received via SMS/email are confidential. Never share your OTP code with anyone, including those claiming to be from a particular company.

Never share your personal information with anyone outside. Protect your personal data like usernames, passwords, ID cards, tax numbers, etc. Also, avoid sending photos of ID cards, tax numbers, debit/credit cards via WhatsApp or email to others.

6. Don’t Click on Random Links!

Be cautious and avoid clicking on random links sent through emails, text messages from SMS/WhatsApp, or social media direct messages (DM). Be careful, as there are many fake websites and social media accounts out there.

Even if you are targeted by a phishing attempt, you might not become a victim. The key is whether or not you click on the link prepared by the phisher.

As you know, phishing emails and websites are designed to look like the real ones. However, there is always something that distinguishes the official source from the fake one. It could be the data entry form that looks suspicious, the content language that differs from what you usually receive, etc.

So, before clicking any link, make sure it’s safe.

One way to check is to hover your mouse over the link without clicking (hover). Then, the URL information will appear. If it directs you to the official website, it’s safe. If it directs you to an unfamiliar website, it’s better to avoid it.

7. Use Antivirus and Reset Your Gadget

Always install the latest antivirus on your laptop or smartphone. You can also reset your phone and delete apps or unlink devices when switching to a new phone.

When you want to switch gadgets, don’t forget to clear your data on the old device. This is important to prevent your personal data stored in apps on your smartphone or laptop from being transferred to someone else.

Make sure to delete all apps, clear usage history related to personal data, and reset the device before selling or giving away your gadget to someone else.

I have provided some very useful tips for safe online shopping to avoid phishing attacks. Good luck, friends! By following the guidelines above and increasing awareness of the importance of data security, we can collectively protect ourselves from phishing threats and safeguard our personal data amidst the complexities of the ever-evolving digital world.


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