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article imageQ&A: How hackers are seeking to 'supply' online backorders Special

By Tim Sandle     May 2, 2020 in Business
As more people resort to online shopping and panic buying, e-commerce scams will become more common. While the rest of the world is standing by waiting for things to return to normal, hackers are not taking a break, says Neill Feather, of SiteLock.
Furthermore, with the current COVID-19 situation, as trusted retailers run out of supplies, consumers are turning to less popular sites that are waiting in the shadows to scam innocent consumers.
From toilet paper to loungewear to basic food items, these hackers “resupply” popular products in order to collect private information from desperate shoppers. So, what do consumers need to look out for to make sure purchases are the real deal and their personal details remain secure?
To gain an insight into the risks, Digital Journal caught up with Neill Feather, chief innovation officer at SiteLock.
Digital Journal: Have e-commerce scams become more common during the coronavirus pandemic?
Neill Feather: Cybercriminals are known to be keen to consumer trends. If there is a spike in particular online searches, products or software, you’ll often see a trend of targeting sites with those keywords. During the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen an increasing demand for basic household goods. As stores’ shelves empty and warehouses go bare, desperate consumers scour the web for these necessities. Additionally, with stay-at-home orders in place, it is a safer and more popular option to buy these goods online. Because of this, many cybercriminals have set up “shop” to trap these unsuspecting shoppers and collect their private information and credit card numbers.
DJ: How can shoppers become more aware of these increasingly sophisticated online scams?
Feather: Cybersecurity education and training is the best way to become more aware about increasingly sophisticated scams. Hackers are looking to target unsuspecting consumers who are more willing to share private details. However, through education and training, it is easier for these shoppers to spot potential scams and avoid falling into these traps.
By staying cyber-aware at all times and using trusted retailers, online shoppers can ensure purchases are legit and that their information is safe
DJ: How can someone tell if a website is not only legit but also secure?
Feather:It is best for shoppers to use retailers they are familiar with and have used before, but with items in high-demand, it is not always possible. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided as it’s illegitimate.
Some things to look out for to see if a site is secure or not, include:
The padlock on the left side of the URL bar: This indicates that communication with this website is encrypted, meaning that data is very well-protected from being intercepted in transit.
The URL itself: “https” rather than “http” in the URL indicates an inscription and that security is provided by an SSL certificate.
Pop-ups: If suspicious pop-ups come up while on the site, you should exercise caution as the webpage may be infected with malware and should be avoided.
DJ: What steps can online retailers take to ensure their sites aren’t overtaken by hackers?
Feather:It is extremely important for retailers to educate themselves about the nature of these scams so they can be proactive. It is important to utilize security tools and run regular cyber hygiene scans to ensure systems are up to date and that vulnerabilities are patched.
It is also important that retailers offer security tools for their shoppers so they can protect their accounts as well. By offering two-factor authentication shoppers can take an extra step to prevent hackers from accessing accounts and taking their information.
More about Hackers, Hacking, online orders, Shortages, Supply
 
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