4 tips for safe online shopping on your phone.jpg

Image: Showbit.com

#1 DON’T SHOP ON AN OPEN WI-FI NETWORK
Public networks (like those in a cafe) are not secure; hackers tend to lurk on them to steal personal information. Norton Security advocate Eugene Teo says: “Cybercriminals can use software to intercept your connection on an open Wi-Fi network, allowing them to hijack your device or monitor your online activities. They can also create fake Wi-Fi networks which redirect you to websites that can infect your mobile with malicious software (malware), or grab your personal information.”

#2 USE A DIGITAL WALLET
By using a secure payment solution like Paypal, you won’t have to store sensitive financial information on your phone. “Paypal stores your credit card number and other details in a digital wallet on a secure cloud so you don’t have to worry about your data being compromised if your phone is accessed illegally,” says Rahul Shinghal, country manager of Paypal South-east Asia. Other digital wallets include Mastercard’s Masterpass, which stores your payment and shipping information, and Dash, a mobile virtual cash account offered by Singtel that is linked to your Standard Chartered savings account.

#3 AVOID THIRD-PARTY APPS
Never shop on apps that were not downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Such apps might carry malware, viruses or spyware which hackers can make use of to steal your data.

#4 SHOP VIA HTTPS
Shopping apps like the one by Zalora ensure that all information (such as customer login and credit card numbers) is exchanged over HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), a secure way of encrypting data transferred over the Internet. Dione Song, managing director of Zalora, says: “All our back-end systems are stored in data centres that are SAS 70-certified.” SAS 70 certifi cation is an industry auditing standard which shows that an organisation has had an in-depth check of the controls they have to safeguard customers’ personal data. If you shop on a browser, make sure you see a padlock logo at the beginning of the URL.

#5 LOOK FOR SECURE PAYMENT SEALS
“Legitimate websites tend to have payment trademarks such as Norton Secured or McAfee Secure. These sites secure your information via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), a security protocol that encrypts data transmitted from your phone to a web server,” says Eugene.

This story was first published in Her World Magazine May 2015.

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