10 Data Security Tips For Online Shoppers

Date Oct 8, 2020
Blog category Broadband
By Staff Writer

As Kiwis turn to online platforms for business, banking, and other transactions, it's become easier to accomplish more tasks in one day. Going online has undeniably brought a lot of convenience, but it also poses a lot of cybersecurity risks. Online transactions may compromise your privacy, allowing cybercriminals to access your personal data

To ensure your safety when using any device, here are 10 data security tips you can practice every time you go shopping online. 

1. Avoid using public Wi-Fi

Sometimes it’s unavoidable to access free Wi-Fi when you’re outside, but it can pose a great threat to your personal data, including access to your credit card information when online shopping using public Wi-Fi.

What you can do is connect to a VPN on your smartphone, which secures your connection to any Wi-Fi network regardless of wherever you might be. This will protect your location and keep your information safe from digital thieves. 

2. Be wary of public charging kiosks

Charging stations are useful especially for travellers in New Zealand. However, there are charging kiosks that are found to hijack personal data through the charging port. It’s called "juice jacking," as they typically install malware on your device and steal data while you charge.

To avoid this, it’s best to carry a fully-charged power bank every time you go out.

3. Set strong passwords

When you're asked to register an account, always enter a strong password for your own safety. You can set different passwords for any of your social media accounts, email, and even your mobile device to make it more difficult for digital thieves to get into your data, and also from prying eyes when you're in a public place. 

4. Update your device's OS

Keep your device’s OS updated to improve not only its performance but also its overall security. These quick updates can protect your smartphones and laptops from new threats that lurk from time to time. 

Your device should notify you as soon as your software update is ready to install.

5. Download apps from official app stores

When you need to buy an app before you can install, you go online to download it for free instead. Most of the time, these links contain malware that can access confidential information when installed on your device. You can avoid this by looking into reviews and the credibility of the page owner before consider visiting. 

While it's practical, it won't ensure security, so it's best to get apps from the official app store. It won't take long to download them anyway. 

6. Install a reliable antivirus software

If you really want to take your cybersecurity up a notch, you need to install an antivirus program for the overall security of your PC or laptop. This not only bars viruses from your device, but it also prevents hacking attempts that may compromise your privacy. 

7. Use biometrics on your mobile

Smartphones allow you to activate thumbprint or facial recognition for easy access of your device as well as a security feature in case there's an attempt to access your accounts online. 

8. Track debit and credit spending

Now that businesses have integrated their services digitally, you can track and monitor credit and debit card transactions at any time. Install your bank’s mobile banking app on your device. Through this, you can monitor your account, and you’re also notified of any hacking attempts or unauthorised charges. You can then report it to your bank immediately. 

9. Encrypt mobile data 

Encrypting your mobile data means you render your mobile data unreadable for anyone except for you who has the key or password to access them. So, if your phone gets lost or stolen, contacts, emails, photos, and other information are inaccessible to the person in possession of the device. You can check in the Settings and enable encryption of your phone.

10. Check security icons of websites and eCommerce stores

You can tell that a website is secure if it begins with "https" and not "http." This means that the page uses an SSL certificate that protects personal data as it goes from one browser to the website's server. 

When online shopping, see if the eCommerce website has the PCIDSS certified logo along with Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode logo. This means that the business passed the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance, the highest certification granted in the payments industry. You can be sure that the business is following cybersecurity best practices, and are keeping your personal data safe.

According to PCI Compliance Guide, “When [a] business becomes PCI compliant, [they’ve] made a commitment to continuously maintain a baseline standard for protecting credit card data.

PCI compliance makes [businesses] less likely to experience a payment data breach, and there are obviously many financial benefits in keeping data thieves at bay!”

Enjoy secure browsing, streaming, and online shopping when you have fast and reliable broadband. To see your options, start comparing deals with CompareBear and find the best broadband plan for you!