Education

Stay safe while shopping

As the Internet is under constant attack from different kinds of threats, keep these points in mind while making transactions and browsing.

The digital world is evolving everyday, and, as a result, staying safe online is increasingly becoming a relevant issue. From seemingly secure big companies to individuals, no one is safe from being hacked online.

A new research from Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science has found that malware designed as a fitness app, or even javascript embedded on a web page, can use the accelerometer data stored by the mobile phone to reveal PINs and passwords. People are especially vulnerable while shopping online and can fall prey to phishing attacks.

Professor Aad van Moorsel, head, School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Steve Riddle and Charles Morisset, computing science lecturers at Newcastle University, and Martin Emms, research associate in computing science at Newcastle University, have put together some simple things students can do to protect themselves online.

Use an online wallet such as PayPal or Google Wallet to pay for your online purchases. This prevents your credit card details from being sent to online retailers.

Buy from online retailers that have a good reputation. Do some research before buying from an online retailer you have not used before.

Never put your whole wallet on a contactless card reader. The contactless readers used for buses and trains can read your credit and debit cards, so you can end up with money unexpectedly leaving an account.

Here are some other precautions one must take.

Web cookies

Web cookies are a mechanism that websites use to remember information (such as items added to your online shopping basket) or to monitor your movements around a web page.

Controlling how you choose to accept ‘cookies’ in your web browser can prevent you being tracked as you visit different websites.

Privacy settings

You can control what information is held about you by downloading your personal data from Facebook or Twitter and changing your privacy settings, allowing friends (rather than the general public) to see your social profiles.

Email ids

You can break up your online interactions by using different email addresses for social network, shopping, work and other activities. This makes it less likely that separate pieces of shared information can be accumulated together.

Passwords

Although this seems incredibly obvious, it is really important to use a different password for every account you create. Without doing so, you become vulnerable to being hacked on multiple accounts.

For learning more about keeping your data safe online, visit https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/cyber-security.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:38:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/Stay-safe-while-shopping/article14453766.ece

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