How to shop online safely during Singles' Day sales and stay clear of scammers

Be careful of cyber-criminals sending you emails disguised as the retailer that you recently purchased from.
Be careful of cyber-criminals sending you emails disguised as the retailer that you recently purchased from.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Do you want to shop safely online during the coming Singles' Day sale?

Ms Joanne Wong, vice-president of international markets at security intelligence company LogRhythm, and Mr Stas Protassov, co-founder and technology president of cyber protection company Acronis, offer the following tips:

1. Use your personal device for online shopping

Stick to your personal mobile phone, tablet or PC when shopping online. Do not perform e-commerce transactions using your company's laptop as this makes compromising confidential work data more likely.

2. Use separate passwords for different e-commerce accounts

The experts recommend using different passwords for different e-commerce or online shopping accounts. Should one online shop be compromised, not all your passwords are in danger of being exposed.

3. Beware of phishing attempts this shopping season

Be careful of cyber criminals sending you e-mails disguised as the retailer that you recently purchased from, especially when it looks like an e-mail requesting confirmation for parcel deliveries. They might ask for your credit card details when you have already paid for your products.

4. Shop on trusted platforms and websites, and make sure they are legitimate

Cyber criminals may create fake e-commerce websites to scam you into sharing your personal and credit card details. Always shop on trusted platforms. Verify a site or platform is legitimate by looking for the "https" on its Web address.

5. Update your antivirus and malware software as well as your mobile apps

It is not enough to have installed antivirus software - you must ensure that it is regularly updated so it can detect and respond to new threats effectively. The same applies when you are using the mobile apps of shopping platforms. Update them to the latest version for better security.

6. Use a separate credit card for online purchases

Reserve one credit card for online purchases only. This way, you can verify the charges at the end of the month and revert any fraudulent charges. You also minimise your losses this way instead of risking having multiple cards compromised.

7. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for online transactions

Having 2FA might be a bit troublesome but it adds another layer of protection, as accounts can only be accessed on your known devices. You can also receive alerts and respond to potential fraudulent transactions.