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What Every Online Shopper Should Know on Cyber Monday and Beyond
(November 23, 2009)
Well-known anti-spyware pioneer Lavasoft alerts shoppers to the escalated online threat landscape during the holiday season, and encourages consumers to stay secure as they shop the Web for holiday deals by following a handful of simple safety tips.
As holiday shopping kicks off around the world on November 30, the day termed Cyber Monday and known as the unofficial start of the online shopping season, so will the cyber scams. In this year's run-up to the holiday season, security analysts at the Malware Labs at Lavasoft already report a 391 percent increase in the amount of malware detected and added to the threat database of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware security software, compared to the same period last year.
To avoid malware traps and cyber scams during the online shopping season, Lavasoft recommends following these five basic tips to ensure security — on Cyber Monday and beyond:
- Make sure to shop only on secure sites. Look for the padlock icon or a URL that starts with https://. That means your transaction is encrypted.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you're not familiar with a particular seller, look for privacy and security seals or research them before you make your purchase.
- Create lengthy and complex passwords. Passwords can be guessed very quickly by hacker programs, so use both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers, when creating passwords or when registering on sites.
- Maintain your security software essentials to keep malware off your PC. This includes having updated anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on your computer, in addition to a firewall.
- Don't make hasty online purchases. If you're hesitant to enter your credit card details online, consider using a separate credit card, or use an ‘e-card’ solution that gives you the ability to create a temporary card number to be used just once or with a spending limit.
More information on Lavasoft's security solutions as well as online protection tips can be found on the Lavasoft website at www.lavasoft.com.