eShop, but don't drop (your guard)

eShop, but don't drop (your guard)
Think before you click: Retail apps and local online shopping have seen a boom. But as you e-shop to your heart's content, don't do it until you drop all your defences.

The holiday season is here, and for many, that means the arrival of the shopping season too!

Malaysians' love for shopping could not have found a bigger outlet than the World Wide Web store, with the help of their very own personal shopper - their mobile device.

It is no wonder retail apps and local online shopping have seen a boom. But as you e-shop to your heart's content, don't do it until you drop all your defences, warns safety giant Symantec Corporation. Cyber criminals are also getting a lot of joy this festive season, having a merry time pouncing on the unaware and careless.

Here are a few e-shopping safety tips to protect yourself as you hunt for that perfect gift. Don't let the time you save on travelling on jam-packed roads, fighting for parking spaces and waiting in the long cashier lines be wasted queuing at the police station.

Don't be too "App"-y: Think twice before downloading unknown apps from third party app stores. They could come bundled with malicious software or adware. Also, read the permissions the app requires carefully before downloading.

Think before you click: Have your guard up for email and text advertising holiday deals that seem to good to be true. No matter how harmless a spam looks, avoid clicking on the links and downloading the files if you don't know the sender.

Beware the friendly reveller: Even if the mail makes your day with its cheery message: "You have received a Christmas Greeting Card!" or "Cash for the New Year", check before you open it. Norton has found some of these holiday mails to contain viruses and worms that will damage your computer, or worse, send you and your children to websites designed to steal your bank account details.

Look for the 's': To make sure you are shopping from secure sites, look for the "s" after "http" in your browser address bar before providing personal or credit card information. Whether shopping from a smartphone, tablet or home computer, only use reputable retailers and websites.

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