We spoke with TechQuarters, whose business IT support London companies have been using for more than a decade. They are passionate about educating all their customers, and demonstrating to them how to browse the internet safely, so that they do not endanger their company’s network. Here, they have given us their top tips for consumers on how to stay safe whilst online shopping.
With the holiday season coming up, many of us will be looking for presents for loved ones on the internet; ensure that you’re not falling victim to malicious sites by following these top tips for online shoppers.
Stick to secured web addresses
Something that you should be checking with every website you visit is whether it is a secure web address. The easiest way to do this is check the site’s URL. All secured sites will have a URL that starts with ‘https’ – the ‘s’ stands for secured. Sites whose URL start with just ‘http’ may be unsafe and should be avoided. Another useful thing to look for is whether there is a small padlock icon next to the URL.
Watch out for scam emails
Many of us are probably on at least one mailing list from one of the many online retailers we frequently use. Some scammers like to target people by impersonating well-known retailers; they often send emails with links that will take users to a webpage impersonating a retailer’s site – and when it comes to the user entering their payment details to pay for something they think is legitimate, they will actually be giving the scammer their details without realising. This is an incredibly common type of online scam.
Luckily, most IT support companies can help businesses filter out and block these types of scam emails; but if you are a consumer, you should be aware of these types of scams, and learn to detect the signs.
Keep your software up-to-date
Software updates may seem tedious, but the reason they are so common and frequent is that developers often find vulnerabilities that they want to close. This is why it is important to always install updates as they are released, because it might be the difference between being hacked and staying protected.
If you are a business with IT support services, your IT department or provider will likely install software updates onto users’ devices themselves. However, once again, if you are an individual, make sure to check for software updates regularly; you can scan your PC for updates, and third-party softwares will usually notify you when an update is available.