Online shopping deals are everywhere. There are deals in windows and on TV; deals on the web; deals on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, deals via SMS, WhatsApp and Messenger; and deals in email, as online retailers attempt to lure shoppers to buy from them instead of the competition. At the moment, Republic Day Sale is going on everywhere.
With companies fighting for your attention, scammers have plenty of camouflage for their phishing emails and fake sites. They can dress them any which way, whether it’s fake offers that really are too good to be true, or any number of excuses for drumming up a bit of false urgency and demanding a login (Check your order! Verify your account! Register now!).
Scammers will do whatever it takes and won’t stop trying to dupe you or take their foot off the gas until you give in and fall for the scam.
So, while it’s tempting to tell you to do things differently while shopping online this republic day, there’s no reason you should. Even if you’re planning to join me and log off for the next couple of days, the scammers will still be there when you come back.
Cybersecurity is 24/7, every single day of the year, because so is cybercrime.
Want to protect yourself? Follow these simple tips, every day:
Use a web filter: Web filters, like the one included in Sophos Home, stop you from browsing to websites that are known to be used for scams, phishing or spreading malware.
Use a password manager: Password managers create, remember and enter passwords for you, and they won’t enter your password into a phishing site, no matter how convincing it looks.
If it looks too good to be true, it is: Scams make wild claims and use familiar brands or friends and family to make them seem trustworthy. Stay alert, and if something seems off, it probably is.
Check your bank statements regularly: You can reduce the chance that you’ll become the victim of a scam but you can’t eliminate it, so make a habit of checking your bank statements regularly.
(Mohit Puri is Director Sales Engineering, India & SAARC, Sophos)