The Online/Mobile Shopper

THE TREND: Online shopping is easy, popular, and global. Javelin Strategy and Research projects a 78% increase in the U.S. shopper volume by 2014.

Furthermore, the trend to shop on smartphones is growing, with 71% of smartphone owners saying they shop using their mobile device.1 The ultimate in shopping convenience, you can do it from virtually any place where there’s Web access and you’ve got hundreds of online shops to choose from.

MYTH: Cybercriminals don’t care about online shoppers like me.

FACT: Online shoppers have become preferred cybercriminal targets. Case in point, a recent mass compromise affected 8.3 million sites that use the open source e-commerce solution—osCommerce. These criminals are after credit card credentials, online banking personal identification numbers (PINs), and other personal data related to online shopping, whether you shop from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone.

Cybercriminals are always seeking potential victims and mobile attacks are increasing. Unwary mobile shoppers are particularly at risk as they may remember to add antivirus for their PCs, but not their phones.

Mobile adware, malware, and malicious/high-risks apps do exist. They pose a serious threat that could cause you great inconvenience and expense if your personal information is hijacked due to a lack of antivirus protection, or shopping while on an insufficiently secured Wi-Fi hot spot.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT:

Watch out for unbelievable offers— Keep in mind that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Search for reviews and public opinions to validate your finds and bookmark sites you know are credible because cybercriminals often count on misspelled links to lead victims to malicious sites.

Never opt for a payment method that does not offer any kind of buyer protection. Wire transfers and money orders are therefore off the table. Once sent, you have no way of getting your money back. There’s no way to stop a shady vendor from simply taking your money and not sending you the goods you paid for. This is exactly why these methods are preferred by scammers. Paying by credit card offers you better protection via consumer rights laws.

Don’t shop in a hot spot. Avoid shopping online in places with unsecure networks or via public hot spots, no matter what type of device you are using. Not only can bad guys hijack your shopping session while you’re connected to an unsafe network, they can also drop malicious files onto your system. The public computer you’re using in an Internet café may already be malware infected to begin with, too.

Don’t be a victim. To ensure anytime, anywhere online safety, regardless of device, use a security solution that protects you from any and all threats. Keeping safe online shopping practices in mind certainly goes a long way. However, cybercriminals never rest—using a reliable antivirus security solution is the best way to put your mind at rest when making online purchases.

For your PC, Trend Micro Internet Security helps prevent hackers and spyware from stealing credit card numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data, in addition to providing a full suite of anti-malware and privacy protections.

To secure your Android devices try Trend Micro Mobile Security. It protects your mobile device against malware and all kinds of mobile threats. It can track your mobile device if it gets lost or stolen and even remotely wipe the mobile phone’s contents if needed.

1 http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/study-88-consumers-have-negative-mobile-shopping-experiences