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Online Christmas shoppers advised: Avoid WiFi, use SSL


Avoid online shopping via Wi-Fi and shop at sites with SSL if possible.
 
These were the pieces of advice from security vendor Bitdefender, which said the holidays may bring an increase in online offers.
 
"Taking precautions to make secure payments and choose reliable suppliers can ensure a successful online shopping experience that is worth waiting all year for," Bitdefender's Loredana Botezatu said in a blog post.
 
Botezatu cited a National Retail Federation survey showing that while people are likely to spend less this year than in 2012, “four in 10 (42.1 percent) indicated they shopped online over the weekend, or approximately 59 million shoppers.”
 
She suggested that online shoppers use their phone or tablet’s 3G network connection to make purchases when on the go.
 
"Avoid buying anything while connected to a public Wi-Fi network," she said.
 
Botezatu also warned shoppers against scammers who use discounts and coupons as bait to lure unwary users.
 
She said they will draw victims in with "look-alike shopping pages" and trick them into giving them credit-card details.
 
On the other hand, she said shoppers should also ignore spam messages, and not buy a product advertised via unsolicited e-mail messages.
 
"It is most likely a fake. It is better to ask friends for advice or check the legitimacy of an online shop on forums by simply googling it. Learn from other people’s experience," she said.
 
Meanwhile, Botezatu said buyers should choose only web shops with SSL certificates to confirm their identity.
 
"An URL starting with HTTPS and a padlock at the end should indicate you are on the right page," she said.
 
Shop from home
 
Meanwhile, Botezatu advised shoppers to do their shopping from home, instead of a public place like a library, coffee shop, school lab or in an airport "where computers are used by other persons as well."
 
Such systems can be monitored with surveillance mechanisms like keyloggers, she warned.
 
Botezatu also said shoppers should use an antivirus solution that can handle bogus advertisements and get rid of them. — TJD, GMA News
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