Festival seasons are known for gala discounts and offers. Online shoppers waste no time in grabbing these offers. So are the cybercriminals. Cybersecurity experts warn that one should be extremely cautious when shopping online.

“Check the details of any online store you’re unfamiliar with. Look for details like design, pricing, URL, language, spelling errors, and reviews before making purchases on an unfamiliar website. Shady designs and low-quality images are a sign that they were stolen from another site,” Ritesh Chopra, India Director at cybersecurity solutions company Norton, said.

‘Search online’

“To be extra cautious, try a simple Google search of the store name + scam or fraud. You can also search for the store in the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker,” he said.

He also wants people to be wary of offers that are too good to be true. “Many online shoppers are scammed by responding to deals that are too good to be true. Criminals often create ads for highly-discounted designer or luxury items, but after ordering, these items don’t arrive or are counterfeit,” he said.

Besides creating strong and secure passwords, they should monitor their credit and bank statements for signs of fraud. “If a scammer gains access to your financial information, they can rack up charges on your credit card and ruin your credit score,” he said.

Secure connection

People should also be careful while shopping over public Wi-Fi, which is quite vulnerable to hacking. “When shopping online, make sure you’re using a secure internet connection. If you need to make purchases while travelling, use a virtual private network (VPN),” he said.

“The digital landscape offers fantastic deals and convenience, but it also presents potential risks. By taking precautions, such as using trusted security software and verifying the authenticity of websites and sellers, we can enjoy the festive season with peace of mind,” he said.

Citing a survey that it conducted ahead of the festive season, he said a good number of Indians are already taking general precautions. “88 per cent of the 1,008 respondents check ratings for online sellers before making purchases, and 85 per cent investigate the digital security of devices. As many as 82 per cent of the respondents assess a company’s social media presence for authenticity,” he said.