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Monday 23 July 2018


Black Friday puts cyber security in spotlight

Written by staff reporter

Despite the apparent importance of online security, many consumers continue to make basic cyber security mistakes. Password hygiene is a continuing problem when shopping online, according to the 2016 Online Shopping survey from Centrify. Nearly 14% of respondents admitted that they share passwords with friends and family so they can login to their accounts, whilst over half said they save them to the retailer’s websites so as not to forget them. Over half also said that they only sometimes use different passwords for different retailers’ websites.

With the arrival of Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season well under way, online safety is back in the spotlight. Barry Scott, CTO EMEA, Centrify, said: “Consumers can’t afford to put their personal information at risk... They need to protect themselves and their personal information to avoid giving the best gift cyber criminals could ask for, their money and identity.”

Centrify’s study found that 83% would sometimes, or never, check the security and privacy terms and conditions of the retailer, leaving them open to hacking and data theft if shopping with an unknown or untrusted retailer. On top of this, more than a fifth would still not ensure there is a secure padlock icon in the browser before making their purchases, and 27% said they would only do this on some occasions.
Centrify has put together the following top ten tips for safe shopping online.

Safety online: Top Tips (Source: Centrify)

· Always shop with reputable sellers, and be cautious when entering URLs. A misspelled domain, or non-‘https’ site could land you on a false site designed to steal your information.

· Ensure you read the site’s privacy policy to understand how and where your personal information is being used. Lack of an easily visible privacy policy should be a red flag to using that site.

· Be suspicious of links in unsolicited emails – always type the link directly into your browser, do not click on them within the email. Hovering over the links should highlight if the link is unsafe, as you would notice the link underneath may be different to the text.

· Deals that appear too good to be true often are, so treat them with even more caution.

· If an online retailer requests extra personal information, such as a password for your email or bank account as part of the shopping process, do not enter them.

· Secure mobile phones if you plan to use them for shopping by enabling security features such as passwords and encryption.

· Always use different, long, and complex passwords (or passphrases) for each site.

· Enable multi-factor authentication where possible. This involves combining two or more different ‘factors’ for extra security when logging in – such as something an individual has (like an ATM card or smart card), something a user is (such as a biometric characteristic like a fingerprint or retina scan) or something the user knows, like a password.

· Do not store passwords. Many browsers, programmes, or web applications will offer to store your password for you so you only have to enter the password once and never again. While seemingly a convenient option, it is a bad idea to store passwords associated with personal or financial accounts. This is especially true if you use public or shared computers.

· Finally, it may seem obvious, but passwords are not meant to be shared.

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