Cyber awareness is the key to safe online shopping

By Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC, Fortinet

Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cyber security solutions, recently reminded  online shoppers that one of the best ways to ensure a safe cybershopping experience is to prepare for it. Online shopping and the growing digital marketplace are transforming our world, giving us fast and safe access to a wider variety of goods than at any other time in history. However, this expanded landscape comes with real risks that needs to be understood. Cybercriminals are not only technically savvy, but they also recognize the latest consumer trends, understand the underlying assumptions shoppers make, and know how to exploit them. However, by educating ourselves and more importantly by implementing recommend best practices we can have a safe shopping experience.

Fortinet advises shoppers to go the extra mile and implement safe practices to enjoy a happy and secure shopping this festive season.

1. Get Ready with the Basics:

  • Start by making sure your devices, software, browsers, and applications have all been patched and updated to the latest versions. It is especially important that you are using updated and patched operating systems on all your devices.
  • Get your passwords under control. Update older passwords with newer ones that are harder to guess but easier to remember. We recommend using passphrases – a passphrase is a sentence that is easier to remember, but very difficult for hackers to break. For example, “My voice is my passport.” Not all websites support passphrases, spaces in passwords, or long passwords. For added security add special characters and numbers to your passphrase. Don’t use the same password for different accounts.

2. Go the Extra Mile:

  • Every browser supports secure transactions using SSL encryption. But to be safe, make sure your connection is secure before you click the “Buy” button. You can do this by looking at the URL bar of your browser and making sure that the address starts with https:// rather than http://. You can also look for the little lock icon on your browser. These means that your transaction is protected.
  • You can also further secure access to sites by setting multi-factor authentication. Many online sites support two-factor authentication to doubly secure your financial data. Make sure you have it set up on your device and that you know how to use it.
  1. Pay Attention & Shop Safely
  • Look up the URL before you click on it. You can do this by copying the URL of the site you are visiting and drop it into a domain search engine like is. This will provide a variety of information, such as when the site was first created, where they are physically located, and information about the owner. Be suspicious of anything that has only been online for a very short time or that is registered in another country.
  • Finally, make sure the checkout system accepts major cards. Avoid sites that require untraceable forms of payment. Where possible, use digital wallets or Verified payment systems to protect yourself and your assets.

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