Safe online shopping in the holiday season

I am happy to announce that I have achieved a number of personal records in 2020, but I am especially proud of my achievements in the highly qualified field of online shopping. I shop online like I’m going to the Olympics: Food, household items, clothing – even car parts! And my story isn’t unique. Living with the pandemic certainly meant that we had to adapt – but when it came to increasing my online shopping so that we could stay home and safe – I was very happy to adapt!

And McAfee’s research shows that I’m not alone. In fact, more than 40% of Australians have bought more COVID-19s online since the 2020 holiday season: Research into the status of current digital electronic shoppers. But this is where it gets really interesting, because the research also shows that almost a third of us (29%) shop online 3 to 5 days a week, and more than one in ten consumers (11%) even shop online every day !!!!. But because many online stores offer such fast delivery, it just makes sense to stay safe and stay at home!

Santa’s not far from here… 1Б9.

With just over a month to go until Santa arrives, it’s no wonder that many of us are already starting to prepare for the holidays by buying gifts. Online shopping events such as Click Frenzy or Black Friday/Cyber Monday are often a very attractive time to shop. However, some Australians decided to come early to give gifts to their loved ones in response to warnings from some retailers that some items could run out before Christmas due to problems with the COWID 19 supply chain. In fact, a McAfee study shows that 48% of Australians will use digital links to give gifts and encourage them this year, although 49% believe cyber scams will become more common over the Christmas period.

But what about the risks?

McAfee’s research shows very clearly that most Australians are fully aware of the risks and scams of online shopping, but we still plan to do more online shopping. And since many of us are still concerned about our health and well-being, it makes perfect sense. But if it is true that we have had time to take proactive measures to minimize the risks on the Internet, now we have!

What are the risks identified by Mr. McCafee?

Online threat experts at McAfee (Advanced Threat Research Group) recently discovered evidence that cybercrime on the Internet is on the rise this year. McAfee Labs observed 419 threats per minute between April and June 2020, up nearly 12% from the previous quarter.

And now that many consumers are preparing to spend a lot of money online in anticipation of the holiday season, many experts are concerned that consumers are not taking these threats as seriously as they should be. McAfee’s research showed that between April and June 2020, 41% of 18-24 year olds were victims of online fraud, and more than 50% of people in the same age group were aware of the risks, but had not changed their online habits.

My best tips for safe online shopping

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I’d like you to stage your James Bond when you shop online this holiday season. Do your homework, think with your head, NOT with your heart, and always think of yourself. Here’s my best advice, which I strongly recommend you follow, so that you don’t experience unnecessary dramas at Christmas:

  1. Think before pressing.

Clicking on random and dangerous links is the best way to become the victim of a phishing scam. Who wants to steal their credit card details? – Nobody! And Christmas is the worst time for that! If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re not sure – check directly with the source – enter the online shop’s address manually to avoid these potentially unpleasant links!

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication now

This doesn’t make sense – turn it on if possible, because it adds another level of protection to your personal data and accounts. Yes, it will extend the login process by another 10 seconds, but it’s worth it.

  1. Investing in VPN

If you have a VPN (or virtual private network) on your laptop, you can use Wi-Fi with peace of mind – ideal for online shopping on the go! The VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and your router, which means that everything you share is protected and secure! Learn more about McAfee Safe Connect, including bank level encryption and private web browser services.

  1. Protect yourself – and your device!

The most important thing is to ensure that all your devices are equipped with comprehensive security software that provides protection against viruses, phishing attacks and malicious websites. Consider yourself a guardian angel of cybernetics on your shoulder. McAfee’s comprehensive security software does it all, and includes a password manager, shredder and encrypted storage. The family suite includes the incredible Safe Family App, which is a real lifeline for teens!

So, yeah – make your list and double-check it. But before you get started and start spending, take the time to ask yourself if you are doing your best to minimize the risks of online shopping this year. And don’t forget to remind your children – they too can certainly count on a great gift for you!

Merry Christmas.

Alex xx

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