Stay Safe Online Valentine
Just because we love you, here are some things to watch out for this Valentine's Day...
Tomorrow's the big day and love is in the air! Many people are waiting in anticipation for cards and gifts from their secret admirer, whilst others are frantically searching for last minute, next day delivery gifts online. With all of the hype it’s easy to let your guard down, which makes you a prime target for cyber criminals to exploit.
We have researched common ways for cyber criminals to exploit people this Valentine’s Day, then complied a short “food for thought” list below to help keep you safe online.
The use of e-cards has risen drastically in recent years, with many people preferring the convenience of them over traditional, printed cards. However, these can pose risks to the recipient who by opening them, could be at risk of downloading malware or ransomware onto their PC or mobile device. The safest thing to do is not click on the links for software required to view the card, but view it directly on the company’s website. Most legitimate e-card companies offer a code so you can view it online.
Around this time of year, including shortly after Valentine’s Day, everyone seems to be offering the best deals on jewelry, flowers, perfume and chocolates. You can’t escape the flood of emails delivered directly to your inbox. Just bear in mind that spammy emails often contain links that download malware or redirect you to fake websites to steal your personal information. Think before you click!
Valentine’s Day is less than 24 hours away – PANIC! You haven’t had the time or energy to shop online, the weeks have passed so quickly since Christmas. At lunch time you frantically search the internet for online gifts that promise next day delivery. In panic mode, you choose a shop that you haven’t heard of before but they have a great deal on and promise to have the goods delivered in time for your significant other to never know that it was a last minute purchase. All seems well until…
A) The goods never arrive
B) Your card details have just been stolen, which you may not realise for a few weeks/ months
Of course, these outcomes are not certain, but why take the risk?
Look for the SSL certificate (https ://) at the beginning of the URL, and search for reviews of other people’s purchases before committing to handing over any personal information.
This list isn’t designed to scare you, or provide you with an excuse for not buying your other half a gift! Just make sure to be vigilant this year and prevent the heartache of having your data held to ransom, or card details being stolen which you may only realise further down the line.