Leading Perth-headquartered IT support and service company CMTG is warning Australian consumers to take extra precautions when shopping online this festive season.
According to Monash University, 44% of Australians will visit online-only stores to buy Christmas gifts for their friends and family this year, up from 37% last year.
CMTG Director Carl Filpo says more online shopping during the festive period can increase the likelihood of cybercrime targeting personal information or banking details.
“With the silly season upon us, it’s important for Australians to be sensible when it comes to making purchases over the internet or taking part in online sales,” Carl says.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is reporting Australians have lost more than $6.2 million already this year to online shopping scams.
“As the Christmas season approaches, now is the time to take extra precautions online, especially when
providing credit card information or personal details like addresses and phone numbers to online stores.”
To stay safe online during the Christmas period, Carl recommends sticking to well-known businesses or trusted sellers when shopping for gifts.
“Watch out for online stores asking for payments through direct bank deposits or money transfers, as well as websites containing limited information or offering extremely low prices,” Carl says.
“Shoppers should also use secure payment methods such as PayPal or a credit card, and shop on a secure
device that’s connected to a trusted Wi-Fi or cellular network.”
Carl says the cyber security threat doesn’t stop after presents have been purchased, warning shoppers to be wary of fake parcel delivery notifications.
“Fake delivery scams via email or text messages can trick people into unknowingly giving cybercriminals access to private information or accidentally downloading malware onto their devices,” Carl explains.
“If you think you’ve received one of these fake notifications, delete it immediately.”
Carl explains the festive season is also a great time for businesses and individuals to review their cyber security systems and consider investing in upgrades to enhance protection.
“It is vital to have the most up-to-date protection for your IT infrastructure and data to provide peace-of-mind when it comes to your online information,” Carl says.
“As we head into the new year, this is the perfect opportunity to reassess your current cyber security
programs and systems, to see if they’re performing at a high level.
“If you’re unsure, or need an upgrade, touch base with the team at CMTG, who have been provided IT
solutions and trusted service across Australia for more than 25 years.”