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Ways To Avoid Online Shopping Traps

Online shopping is preferred by a lot of people, owing to the convenience and variety of products it offers. However, it can also put you at risk for various cyber-crimes, such as identity theft or man-in-the-middle attack, if you do not follow the necessary security measures. In order to keep yourself safe, here are some of the important things that you should bear in mind while shopping online:

  • Choose Reliable Websites: Make sure you verify the authenticity and credibility of the site before purchasing any product. Check if the website provides a detailed information of the company, including address, fixed line telephone number, email address, shopping guidelines, privacy policy etc. It should have a legitimate payment gateway having a URL that starts with ‘https’. You should also read customer reviews and ratings for the website.
  • Beware Of Spam Emails: You may receive several emails stating the deals offered by different shopping sites. Even if an email looks genuine, you should not click directly on the link provided therein. It could be a malicious code that may redirect you to a spam website or download a malware to your device. Instead, prefer visiting the retailer’s website directly to check the deal.
  • Be Skeptical Of Discounted Goods: Sale and discounts can be lucrative, but you should be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. Do not rush into buying things unless you are sure of the product quality and genuineness. Even if you do not make a purchase, some websites simply want to you register to have access to your email id and password. 
  • Protect Your Personal Details: Many websites allow you to save your personal and payment details to speed up the checkout process. While this may save you some time, you can also risk your sensitive information being leaked to cybercriminals. If possible, consider checking out as a guest user, so you can authenticate the purchase every time.
  • Never Shop On Public Wi-Fi: When you enter credit or debit card information over a public computer or Wi-Fi network, it is possible that it is transmitted without proper encryption. This provides an easy access to the hackers to steal the important details and use it for malicious purposes. 
  • Keep Record Of All Purchases: Maintain a proper record of the financial transactions and invoices of all the stuff that you purchase online. You should also frequently check your credit or debit card statements to determine if there are any unauthorized purchases.  If so, you should immediately bring it to the notice of your bank or credit card provider.

Staying alert and following the necessary safety measures can help you make the most of your online shopping experience.

Open-Source Website Security Tips

There has been a tremendous expansion of innovative tools and applications in the web development world. Popular open-source content management systems, such as Drupal and WordPress, have made it easier for businesses to make their mark over the internet. Their highly customized designs, templates, plugins and modules provide for a simpler website creation and execution. Although these websites are user-friendly, they can be vulnerable to a number of security threats. However, a few preventive steps can mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks on your open-source website. Some of these have been discussed below:

  • Keep Plugins And Themes Updated: Majority of the hacking attacks on open-source websites are carried out through an unpatched vulnerability in a theme or plugin. When hackers discover the route to access such a plugin, they may manipulate it for malicious purposes. To avoid this, you should make sure that your software platform and themes are updated to the latest version. You must also remove any unused or non-updated plugins from your website.
  • Relocate Administration Directory: By default, most open-source website development platforms use the ‘admin’, ‘wp-login or ‘wp-admin’ extensions as log in page. This is where a user gets access to modify the site’s content and other backend settings. Relocating your administration directory to another folder will make it difficult for the hackers to trace.
  • Form Validation: Make sure you perform both server side and client side (browser) form validation. The web browser may identify minor failures such as mandatory fields left empty or numbers entered in a text-only column. However, to avoid getting them side stepped, you must conduct a server side validation as well. This will make sure that the hackers are not able to enter a malicious scripting code into your website’s database.
  • Install SSL: It is recommended to use an SSL certificate to encrypt important information transferred between the browser and website server. It prevents the data from being intercepted, thus safeguarding you against Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. SSL certificates are particularly important for ecommerce portals and other websites that need to store sensitive information of the clients or customers.
  • File Permissions: Since most open-source platforms come with pre-set file access permissions, they are usually not optimized for security purposes. Depending upon your web host and purpose of the plugin, you should alter your file permissions to prevent hackers from entering malicious code into your website.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide complete cyber security solutions to Dallas, TX based businesses. For more information, call us at (972) 375 – 9654.