FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Top security tips for online shoppers

By Contributor
Tue 1 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Radware regional director for A/NZ Mathew Gomziel.
 

With the year’s biggest shopping season just around the corner, consumers are preparing to take advantage of enticing discounts and offers from a range of eCommerce websites and applications.

Naturally, this is also the peak time for fraudsters and cyber-criminals — who try to trick shoppers with fake deals, hack into their accounts to steal gift cards, reward points and discount codes, and extract personally-identifiable information (PII) that they can further abuse.

Shoppers should follow the following tips to guard against being cheated and defrauded when shopping online. 

Shop at reputed sites and avoid lookalike sites with similar URLs and appearance

Scammers often develop fly-by-night sites that use names and URLs that are very similar in their spelling to the names of well-known sites to trick shoppers.

Use authorised shopping apps from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store

Fraudsters try to trick unsuspecting users with spoofed shopping apps that imitate the look and feel of popular apps. Fake apps put consumers at risk of account takeover, financial loss, and exposure of personal information. Search for and download apps only from authorised app stores and never click on links offering app downloads from unknown or suspicious sources.

Watch out for deals that look too good to be true

Don’t fall for unrealistically low prices, which are likely to be bait-and-switch offers that provide buyers with a product that is not exactly what was wanted and expected.

Make sure the website’s address starts with ‘https’ and check the lock icon in a browser’s address bar

The lock icon in a browser’s address bar and the ‘https’ before the website address indicate that a connection to the website is encrypted and secure to prevent a shopper’s information from being captured in transit.

Look for websites and apps that have additional security measures

Leading eCommerce websites and apps usually have bot mitigation measures to prevent access by malicious bots. Use portals that have security measures to prevent bots, such as CAPTCHA challenges, which ask visitors to identify objects in images, or decipher short strings of text, or click on a checkbox to confirm that they are human. Most leading portals use a range of specialised bot mitigation measures.

Provide as little personal information as possible

Reputable eCommerce portals generally do not ask for tax numbers or other details that are not necessary to carry out transactions (such as a mother’s maiden name, etc.). 

Provide the bare minimum personal data and avoid websites and apps that ask for more information than practically required.

Use strong and unique passwords preferably with multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Use a different password for every website, and if the website or app offers it (most leading sites do), it’s best to turn on its MFA option ─ usually found in its security settings ─ for secure log-in and an additional layer of account protection. 

After that, set up an MFA app such as Google Authenticator or Authy to receive the MFA security code required every time someone logs into those sites.

Regularly check bank statements

Watch out for suspicious transactions and charges, and promptly report any unauthorised transactions to the appropriate bank or payment service.

Do not shop via unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, and use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if possible

Avoid making financial transactions using public Wi-Fi connections, as hackers and fraudsters can easily snoop on private data using a variety of common hacking tools. A VPN provides additional security by encrypting all data being received and transmitted from a phone or PC.

Use credit cards and services like PayPal instead of debit cards

Unlike debit cards, which are directly linked to a bank account, credit cards and payment services usually provide more protection, less personal liability, and quicker resolution of claims.

Use a virtual credit or debit card

Instead of providing an actual credit or debit card number and CVV code, take advantage of services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo and others. 

These services allow users to make payments without revealing their actual payment card number, or generate virtual card numbers that are valid only for a single transaction, and worthless to cyber-criminals who use bots to try to extract payment card details.

Be wary of very lucrative offers sent via email

Watch out for ‘phishing’ emails that offer lucrative deals, but are meant to trick shoppers in various ways, including revealing their log-in credentials, payment card data, or other personal information that can be further abused by criminals.

Always check to ensure whether such emails are sent from authentic sources, and look out for telltale signs of fraud, such as errors in spelling and grammar. 

Look out also for website addresses that have minor variations to make them look like a reputed brand, but may have an ‘i’ instead of an ‘l’ or similar discrepancies. 

When in doubt, just go directly to the brand’s website to confirm the authenticity of such offers.

Check to see if a shopping site or app is badged as PCI-DSS compliant

PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance is mandated by leading credit card issuing networks for organisations that accept and process credit card payments and cardholder data. Shop at portals that comply with PCI-DSS for assurance of stringent security and fraud prevention measures.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
InternetNZ
Govt must step up to police social media - InternetNZ boss
A technology industry leader is urging the government not to shy away from policing social media platforms in New Zealand.
Story image
Broadband
Mercury launches broadband and fibre packages for NZ customers
Mercury has officially launched Mercury Broadband, giving its electricity and gas customers the ability to add fibre to their existing Mercury account.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Samsung S22 Ultra
I have been impressed by the functions Samsung packed into this phone. I did actually make one phone call on this phone, in between trying out as many of its other uses that I could pack in.
Story image
Cloud
Sony launches LinkBuds S - the latest model in the series
Sony says the LinkBuds S will give users a unique sound experience through sensor and spatial sound technology, even in AR games.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Quarry (PC)
Supermassive Games channel 1980s teen horror movies with their latest suspense-filled cinematic adventure, The Quarry.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua to map NZ's forest cover change
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, are teaming up to develop improved detection of land use and forest cover change in New Zealand.
Story image
Film review
Film review: Jurassic World Dominion
This movie is what happens when you cross a lot of hungry dinos with humanity trying desperately to redeem itself for a mistake, and boy does it try.
Story image
Digital Transformation
SAP partners with New Zealand Rugby for digital transformation
The multi-year partnership will see SAP advance NZR with its organisational operations, team performance, fan experience and sustainability goals.
Story image
Cloud
Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication
Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft NZ and TupuToa to boost diversity in cybersecurity sector
Microsoft NZ has teamed up with TupuToa to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector.
Story image
Cloud
Apple unveils M2 with 50% more memory bandwidth than M1
Compared to M1, M2 has an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, a 40% faster Neural Engine, and delivers 50% more memory bandwidth and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
Story image
Cloud
Apple improves Mac operating system with latest offering
Apple has unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Ventura, providing users with tools for greater productivity.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
The new Quantum 610 gaming headset is the latest addition to JBL’s Quantum range and the successor to its popular Quantum 600 model.
Story image
Apple
Apple’s watchOS 9 and its new features, including a medications app
The new watch0S 9 gives users more watch faces, an updated workout and sleep app and a brand new medications app.
Story image
Cloud
Apple announces new developer tools and APIs for better app experiences
The new announcement encompasses new tools, technologies and APIs that the company says are designed to help developers create better and more involved experiences for their users.
Story image
Cloud
Hisense launches in New Zealand with new product range
Consumer electronics and home entertainment brand Hisense has launched in New Zealand, bringing its range of TVs, refrigeration, and laundry products to Kiwi customers.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave drive digital transformation for mental health
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave are joining forces to help support the mental health and wellbeing of young men around the world.
Story image
Skills shortage
Tech salaries increase as skills shortage inflates expectations
More technology professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a once-in-a-career market.
Story image
Cloud
Linktree Marketplace creates new commerce options for creators
Linktree has launched Linktree Marketplace, a new forum for users to discover all of Linktree's partners, Link Apps, and integrations in one place.
Story image
Cloud
Dynabook refreshes Portégé X30L series with the Portégé X30L-K
The new model contains hybrid-architecture Intel 12th Gen Core P-Series 28W processor options, Wi-Fi 6E, along with Intel Iris Xe graphics.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: HyperX Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and HyperX Pulsefire XL Mat
With its lightweight Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and RGB lit Pulsefire XL Mat, HyperX sets out to up your game and add a little colour to your desktop.
Story image
Gaming
AMD introduces FSR 2.0 giving gaming GPUs a boost
Not only have AMD proudly announced their new line-up of Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, but the company has also unveiled the first games to support its FSR 2.0 technology.
Story image
Remote Working
Hands-on review: EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power station
We get hands-on with an extremely versatile device that every remote worker or outdoor enthusiast should consider.
Story image
Cloud
Adobe Substance 3D updates, looks to the metaverse
A look at all of Adobe's major updates for Substance 3D and how its services are enabling businesses to get metaverse ready.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Automated Guided Vehicles at seaports to grow 26% by 2027
ABI Research says the global use of Automated Guided Vehicles in seaports will exceed 150,000 deployments by 2027. Port authorities are also looking into 5G private networks.
Story image
Terramaster
TerraMaster launches its T6-423 Professional NAS with TOS 5 OS
Shenzhen-based data storage manufacturer, TerraMaster, has launched the T6-423 6-bay tower NAS.
Story image
Cloud
Chorus and Nokia launches first trial of 25G PON broadband
Chorus and Nokia have announced the successful demonstration of 25 gigabit per second fibre (Gbps) broadband technology at the Chorus Fibre Lab in Auckland. 
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft launches the Surface Laptop Go 2 with new features
Microsoft has introduced the new Surface Laptop Go 2, adding to the company’s growing portfolio of Surface Laptop devices.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Wireless
ComCom finds NZ broadband compares well with Australia
A new report published by the Commerce Commission has found New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) compares well to Australia's National Broadband Network.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Morphée
Life in the twenty-first century has become a 24-hour affair. Morphée promises to help restore some balance to your life.
Story image
Privacy Commissioner
Aotearoa gets a new Privacy Commissioner: Michael Webster replaces John Edwards
Michael Webster, who is currently the Secretary of the Cabinet, will step into the Privacy Commissioner role on 5 July 2022.
Story image
Cloud
Google announces new version of Chromecast with remote features
Google has announced its newest version of Chromecast, featuring a variety of new features and a new look.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Adobe launches AI-powered updates to Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe says the updates use Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to simplify complex workflows and streamline cross-device collaboration.
Story image
Wireless
WolfVision releases new Cynap Pure Mini screen sharing solution
WolfVision has launched the WolfVision Cynap Pure Mini, a new wireless screen sharing solution that looks to enable easier and more effective presentations.
Story image
Cloud
TUANZ to address rural connectivity at 2022 symposium
TUANZ is hosting the Rural Connectivity Symposium for the first time in person since 2019, providing a forum to discuss the state of rural connectivity.
Story image
Cloud
Apple brings redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro to market
Apple has introduced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.