How To Stay Safe & Secure When Shopping Online This Christmas

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Whether COVID has got you opting to shop from the comfort of your home, or you simply don’t feel like facing the weather (or people) outside, shopping online is likely to be a preferred option for many Maltese people this festive season. Black Friday will be the starting point, undoubtedly, and will likely continue until shipping dates permit. However, there are very real dangers out there that we should all be extra cautious of. Here’s how you can enjoy safer shopping this Christmas!

Don’t compromise your Christmas

In the same way, pickpockets would target people during Christmas time, online scammers will be anticipating the increase in traffic in their area. However, one thing you can do before and just after you start spending is check your account before and after you’ve made an online purchase. You can make this easier by using just one credit/debit card when buying, so you don’t need to track transactions across different accounts.

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The moment something seems off, just check your credit card statements online or via the dedicated app, and you’ll know if your card’s been compromised. Make sure to contact your bank and the relevant authorities as soon as you realise something is amiss.

Also, make sure all your devices and accounts are secure, and by this, we mean any credit cards, e-mail and social media accounts as well as shopping-website logins. Update your passwords, and update the apps too to make sure that they’ve got the latest security measures installed. You’ll also want to consider a passwords manager that creates and securely stores your passwords for you along with antivirus software. Where possible, apply two-factor authentication such as biometric data (fingerprint or facial recognition) or push notifications.

Phishing is a very real danger

Scams are becoming increasingly harder to detect, whether through spoofing, where someone or something is not at all what it appears to be, or phishing e-mails or text messages. Criminals have stepped up their linguistic games by hiring speakers of the native language to create their messages for them. This makes them far harder to spot, as Google Translating from English to Maltese usually has laughable results at best, but receiving a message in Maltese won’t be immediately taken as a scam.

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Remember the spate of fake shipping e-mails and messages with malignant links within? Expect to see those again, and now that you’re more likely to be waiting for a shipment, you’ll do well to beef up your security and stay on your digital toes.

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