The Coronavirus lockdown has ramped up online shopping 57%, according to a new study from Mastercard in partnership with independent research company Fly Research. And, as people spend more time in front of their screens, about one in three Europeans have started to spend more on virtual experiences such as movies and films.
However, along with the growing popularity of e-commerce, the risks of falling victim to fraud have also increased. Among the 12,500 adults in 15 countries in Europe polled in the study, 65% expressed concerns about online fraud and scams.
The findings also show a boost in good cyber hygiene. For example, 87% of respondents are mindful of where they shop online and 81% stick to familiar online retailers. As a plus, one in three shoppers will even contact an unknown or new merchant before deciding to go through with their purchase.
As consumer behavior changes in the current Covid-19 stricken landscape, 26.5% of all transactions in the first quarter of 2020 were attempts at fraud and abuse, according to Arkose Labs researchers.
While some consumers might gear up with gloves and masks while filling up their online shopping carts, fraudulent attacks have never been more prolific. This is why every shopper should turn vigilant and adopt safe shopping patterns:
• Make sure the website you are visiting is secure. An easy way to check is by looking for the locked padlock icon found to the left of the URL address bar. If you stick to your trusted website, or want to try a new retailer, check for misspellings or differences in the domain, as website spoofing is a common trick for scammers.
• Don’t provide unnecessary personal information while checking out your order. Online shopping platforms do not need your Social Security number or date of birth to complete your order. If you see any retailers that ask for this type of personal information, it’s likely a scam to steal key pieces of your identity.
• Create strong a password for your online shopping account and enable two-factor authentication, where possible. Should the online retailer suffer a cyber attack or data breach, bad actors will not be able to access your account without proper authentication or code.
• Install a security solution on all Internet-enabled devices. Besides protecting you from malware attacks, a local security solution can fight spam and phishing attempts that try to steal your personal information.
Here at Bitdefender we focus on protecting your devices from malicious activity and threats of all kinds. Now more than ever, we need autonomy and safety as we interact with the world through our internet-enabled devices. That’s why we have extended the trial for our best security suite, ensuring that you can take care of your family’s devices for up to 90 days. If you’re already set up, why not make an unexpected gift to your loved ones who might not be aware of emerging cyber threats?