Cyber crime has been with us for at least as long as the internet, and it seems to stay at least a half step ahead of the crime-busters. As more and more consumers turn to the net via personal computers and other electronic devices for all sorts of purposes, their personal and financial data becomes a gold mine for an alarming number of clever and unscrupulous hackers.
Data from several independent surveys confirms that online shopping is on the increase; almost half of consumers surveyed indicated that they would be doing part or all of their shopping via the net during the month of December. UK shoppers are expected to spend around 7.7 billion pounds online in this month alone, and the estimate for online spending throughout Europe is over 67.5 billion for the same period.
VASCO Data Security International is a global software company that specializes in authentication products for online accounts, transactions and identities. They have offered a few good tips for online shoppers that should significantly improve their odds of ordering and paying for purchases online without becoming part of the online fraud statistics.
The first suggestion is to make sure you are dealing with a known and reputable site. Read the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement and make a note of the contact information and shipping or other costs. Don’t use public sites for shopping or banking purposes; it’s easier for hackers to access them. If an online or e-mail offering looks too good to be true, it probably is; don’t even click on it or open it.
The same tips apply to consumers using mobile devices such as phones to do their shopping or other transactions. VASCO offers a security solution called DIGIPASS that has applications for both pc’s and mobile devices. DIGIPASS generates strong, one-time or short term passwords that cannot be duplicated or reused, and provide a powerful defence against cyber criminals.