With Cyber Monday upon us, businesses aren’t the only ones preparing for the millions who will turn to the Web to do their holiday shopping — cybercriminals are readying a new generation of security threats to take advantage of this rise in online activity.
The Farmington Hills-based makers of eScan security software have some tips to keep you safe.
“The holiday season is not always ‘the most wonderful time of year’ when it comes to e-threats – there’s more online activity with many new shoppers and that can bring out the worst in the cybercriminal community,” said eScan COO Rohini Sonawane. “The recent launch of our eScan 11 security suite was focused on addressing the growing base of online users as well as the new generation of e-threats, and as we’ve learned from past years, the holidays are open season for these new and more sophisticated cybercrime and Internet attacks.”
With this in mind, eScan is offering consumers some tips to consider before shopping online this holiday season:
* Make sure your computer is protected – Before the shopping season begins, computer users should check their security software and make sure it has the most recent updates to protect against viruses, malware, spyware and spam. If a computer isn’t protected, users are at a higher risk of infections while shopping online.
* Consider a virtual keyboard – virtual keyboards, like those available through eScan, may be used to reduce the risk of keystroke logging, when cybercriminals track keys struck on a keyboard to steal credit card information. It is more difficult for malware to monitor the display and mouse to obtain the data entered via the virtual keyboard, than it is to monitor real keystrokes.
* Use secure Web sites – It’s important that while shopping online, users are only shopping on sites that they know and trust. When in doubt, shoppers can refer to sites like the Better Business Bureau, which marks safe Web site with a “trustmark.” Security software can also notify shoppers if a site has been verified as safe and secure.
* Use virtual credit cards – Sometimes referred to as a “throw away” credit card, this is a credit card number that is generated by credit card issuers for temporary use. Users don’t actually get a physical credit card with this number — they simply use the number for an online transaction and then it expires.
* Don’t open e-mails from people (or companies) you don’t know – Many companies are ramping up their marketing efforts to provide consumers with attractive deals during the holidays. Online shoppers should only open emails from people they know or reputable sites.
* Confirm that your transaction is secure – Online shoppers should always check the address box for the “s” in http:// and look for the lock symbol in the lower-right corner before they purchase anything online. When in doubt, users can simply right click anywhere on the page and select “properties,” which should then show the real URL and tell the shopper whether or not the Web site is encrypted.
* Keep your receipts – After completing an online purchase it is highly recommended that shoppers either save or print a copy of the order confirmation, which could either via e-mail or be printed from a Web page at the end of the transaction.
Finally, users should make sure to perform regularly scheduled scans, available with eScan toolkit for example, which can eliminate known threats. For additional information on making online shopping and other Internet and computer use safer, please visit the eScan Web site at: http://www.escanav.com.
EScan, the world’s first real-time anti-virus and content security software for desktops and servers, is developed and marketed by MicroWorld Technologies Inc. of Farmington Hills.
Visit www.escanav.com for more information.
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