Phony sites are everywhere waiting for you to take the bait. Learn how to spot them on the go.
We are sure you already know what you’ll buy on Amazon Prime Day – a bi-annual event that has us all checking our friends and family gift lists, pantries, and of course our own personal wish lists. As everyone preps for this year’s July 16-17 Amazon Prime Day, let’s keep our anti-fraud senses on alert, especially on mobile.
40% of all online purchases tracked by NuData Security in June 2018 were through mobile, creating an appealing channel for bad actors to hide in legitimate traffic. A downside about mobile for consumers, is that it’s harder to spot bogus websites when you use a small screen for your purchases. Bad actors know this well and are constantly creating new counterfeit websites that look legitimate on a small screen.
We know it can be tempting to take shortcuts when you are buying on your phone – especially if you see the deal-clock ticking. But if you follow our online shopping tips, you can stay away from the online crooks and enjoy shopping during Amazon Prime Day – and during the other 364 days too!
- Be sure the web address begins with HTTPS (not HTTP) on any page that you input data. HTTPS provides a more secure website connection, where your data is submitted using encryption, keeping your shopping and personal information safe. If you’re not purchasing on a trusted and secure website, you are in dangerous territory, my friend.
- Avoid making any purchases while connected to an open Wi-Fi network. Any Fraud-101 student knows how to intercept your information through open Wi-Fi connections. Fraudsters can even create an open Wi-Fi connection themselves using their phone as a hotspot.
- Check your social media accounts regularly. Make sure that your birthday, education, family, pets, home address, etc. aren’t publicly available – you may even want to remove those altogether. Review which services and sites you allow access to and remove any you don’t need.
- Keep your phone protected. It’s the gateway to a huge amount of valuable personal information. Have it password-protected as a back-up in the event of loss or theft, and keep all the security updates in check, as these often include security patches.
- Be sure to set strong, unique passwords for every site you visit and don’t reuse login information on multiple websites. Activate multi-factor authentication on any site that offers it.
For the long-term…
- Activate alerts with credit bureaus, your bank, and your credit cards. If there is something unusual, you’ll see it right away. Most banks and credit card companies offer security alerts as a free service. While the processes differ between various entities, the goal is the same: alert you of anything suspicious immediately!
- Contact your mobile carrier and ask about additional security safeguards that can be placed on your account to prevent fraudulent access.
- Stay vigilant: Monitor your bank and credit statements regularly and be on the lookout for any anomalies – even transactions of less than $1 could signal more fraudulent transactions to come.