Ahead of the busiest shopping period of the year, Digital Business Ireland, the country’s leading representative body for the digital commerce sector, has released a checklist to keep shoppers, their information and sensitive financial data, safe and out of the hands of cyber-criminals while shopping online this Cyber Week and beyond.
Irish households will spend more than €5bn over the Christmas period and a time of such high activity is fertile ground for scammers seeking to gain access to sensitive financial data. DBI urges all shoppers to protect themselves by using security software, never clicking links unless they know the sender and having a heightened awareness of the possibility of fraud.
To help prevent consumers in Ireland being targeted by cyberattacks, DBI has released a Safe Shopping Online Checklist to ensure people avoid any nasty surprises this Christmas period. Among the key tips are:
- Secure URLs will have ‘https’ at the start, along with a green bar/padlock.
- In the UK, 1 in 10 ticket buyers have purchased fakes, so only buy from trusted sites.
- Social media is increasingly used by fraudsters. Watch out for fake friend requests and YouTube links containing malware.
- Check your bank statements regularly and set up mobile alerts for transactions.
- Import taxes now apply to goods from the UK, so check where you’re buying from.
- Even better: shop on .ie domains and support local businesses.
A recent poll conducted by Digital Business Ireland found that nearly a fifth of Irish people (17%) have fallen victim to a scam through their mobile phone. 20% of women reported a violation of their information through a mobile phone scam, while only 12% of men did similarly.
Ashley McDonnell, Chairperson of Digital Business Ireland, said: “We’ve seen an increase in cyber-security breaches become more and more elaborate and sophisticated in recent years and these threats continue to grow and evolve all the time. We urge people to be very careful when shopping online this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and into the Christmas rush. Remember: if something seems too good to be true – it probably is!
There are a few simple precautions that people can take which would make a huge difference in protecting them, their information and sensitive financial data. Scams and fraud are difficult to investigate and prosecute so self-protection must be at the core of shoppers’ activity when online shopping.”