Buying Christmas presents securely online

G Data provides tips for trouble-free shopping and warns against fraudsters on the net

12/08/2010 | London 

Buying Christmas presents on the Internet is becoming increasingly popular. It is a quick and convenient way to get presents for your family and friends without the stress of hitting the high streets.  Santander recently published a report which states 70% of British consumers will be Christmas shopping online this December. Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this trend by devising ways to steal credit card information or user data in phishing attacks.  Other scams include creating  bogus online shops designed to rip people off. G Data is warning consumers that fraudsters will be increasing their activities in the run-up to Christmas. To help consumers protect themselves, G Data is offering these tips to help make online shopping this holiday season safe and secure.

"We cannot stress enough that during the pre-Christmas period, cyber-criminals are going to be much more active in their hunt for unwary users," explains Eddy Willems, Security Evangelist for G Data. “Scammers use spam emails with fake products and cheap prices to lure people to online shops. These websites are often contaminated with malware and other potential hazards. Often these criminals succeed in acquiring credit card information that they turn around and sell in black market underground forums. This is exactly the reason why we recommend using a comprehensive security solution to effectively protect PCs from any risks."


G Data tips for greater security when Christmas shopping online:

  1. Use an up-to-date, comprehensive security solution with a virus scanner, firewall, spam filter, http scan and real-time protection such as G Data
  2. Always keep your software and operating system up-to-date.
  3. Always read the fine print at the websites you purchase from.  Read the general terms and conditions, the legal and contact information and, if necessary, check whether the online shop is already known as a 'bad apple'. And check that any postage or additional costs are clearly set out.
  4. Avoid making any purchases from public PCs. These computers are often not adequately protected. Also avoid using public and unsecured wireless networks, as cyber-criminals can use them to read the data traffic.
  5. Watch for security features in your browser. The important things to look out for are: the padlock in the status bar or address line, the 'https' abbreviation before the address you entered, the green background in the address line in most modern browsers and the correct top level domain being displayed.

James Curtis