Last updated on Dec 17th, 2020 at 09:10 am

Competition is NOW CLOSED.

The traditional frantic holiday shopping season has already kicked into overdrive with the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials

However, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have turned to making online purchases as they try and avoid crowded public spaces. Going the e-tailing route however is also not risk-free. Cybercriminals are out in force looking to exploit the current situation.

To support safe online experiences and help you to protect your data while shopping online this holiday season, Kaspersky offers a few practical tips, below.

Enter our competition and you could stand a chance of winning one of five 1-year license codes that are up for grabs to Kaspersky’s adaptive solution: Kaspersky Security Cloud. They are for one 1 user account and up to 3 devices.

Tips for a safe online shopping experience:

  1. Make sure you apply security updates to your operating system and applications as soon as they are available.
  2. Only use secure websites. Look for a URL beginning with ‘HTTPS://’ The ‘S’ is important as it signifies the page is secure. Also look for a closed padlock on your browser’s address bar.
  3. Use a unique password for every online site. We recommend a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters while also keeping each password at least 15 characters long.
  4. Never click on random links in your e-mails. It is always better to type in the actual URL to avoid the risk of ending up on a phishing site. If a deal seems too good to be true, go directly to the website to find it first, instead of just clicking on the link in the email.
  5. Try to stick to familiar sites that you know or have heard of. Even then, you must take care and ensure that you are visiting the real website and not a fake one – look out for small spelling errors in this regard.
  6. If you do buy from a new site, research it carefully. A good test is to see if they can be contacted if the order goes wrong. Look for an e-mail address, a phone number, a physical address, and a returns policy. The feedback history of the store is another good sign of its honesty and reliability.
  7. Take extra caution when using your smartphone or tablet for online purchases. Shortened URLs, often used because they are phone-friendly, can hide the fact that they lead to a risky site. If you must make a transaction then and there, switch your Wi-Fi off and use your mobile data. Otherwise wait until you have a secure connection.
  8. Avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots for confidential transactions like online shopping. These networks allow hackers to easily intercept your information.
  9. Ensure that your children do not have access to your online accounts, and make sure they cannot access to your credit card and bank information.
  10. Backup your data regularly to avoid your personal files being lost if you do become the target of a cyberattack. This also diminishes the potential risk of ransomware locking you out of your important documents.
  11. Keep checking your bank accounts regularly to make sure you notice any unusual activity straight away. Report any fraudulent activity to your bank, immediately.
  12. Always secure all your devices using reliable security software, like Kaspersky Total Security or Kaspersky Security Cloud.

Competition closes Thursday, 17 December 2020 at midnight.

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Ts&Cs apply. By entering the competition, you accept All4Women’s standard terms and conditions.