From Ticketmaster to British Airways, some of the best known brands in the world have fallen victim to data breaches and cyber attacks this year, resulting in millions of people having their personal and financial details stolen.
Black Friday and Christmas are just around the corner, and this means that millions of people will be inputting their personal card details into online sites in order to try and grab themselves a bargain.
Shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become an absolute paradise, not just for consumers, but increasingly for fraudsters and cybercriminals. This happens because people tend to shop more online than they do in-store - which increases the risk of online card fraud.
Separately, many online retailers struggle to cope with high demand, which can cause websites to perform unexpectedly - thus exposing vulnerabilities that hackers can (and generally will) exploit. What's more, many people provide their card details to dodgy merchants while attempting to get the best possible deal - when in fact they could be handing out their data to fraudsters. Hackers are fully aware of how much money they could steal from eager shoppers looking for low prices.
So, with hackers throwing every trick in the book trying to get their hands on your precious data, we've put together this post to keep you shopping safely and securely on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the Christmas period.
Pay with Virtual Cards 💳
There's nothing wrong with using your physical card to shop online, but using a virtual card can add that extra layer of protection. Virtual cards are similar to the physical ones, but they live inside your Revolut app, in the Cards tab. They work just like any other Revolut card, but don't come printed on a piece of plastic (or metal) for you to misplace or have it stolen.
We also recommend that you make all your online purchases using one or more virtual cards. This way, even if a hacker manages to get hold of your details, you're always just a few taps away from cancelling the card and removing it from your account, allowing you to stay one step ahead of fraudsters at all times.
Pay with Disposable Virtual Cards 💥
Building on the success of our virtual cards, disposable virtual cards make your online shopping even more secure. This is because these type of cards generate new card details every time you make a transaction.
This means that if fraudsters somehow manage to catch your card details, they won't be able to use them because they would have changed as soon as you made a purchase.
Use our advanced card security features ⚙️
We built Revolut to put you in control of not just your finances, but your security too. That's why each Revolut card comes with its own unique set of advanced security features that you can access in the app.
So, if you're using a card to only make physical purchases and nothing else, you can disable online transactions and ATM withdrawals, and enable location-based security - which means that your card will only work if it's near you.
In this case, if hackers steal your details, they won't be able to make any online purchases (the first thing they usually try to do) and they won't be able to use a clone of your card at ATMs, in physical shops or anywhere else.
Always use secure checkout portals ✅
These days, most retailers uses a secure connection for their online store - you can check that this is in place on any website by looking at the URL in your browser. If the website link starts with 'https', that means you're browsing securely.
Websites that use this feature send and receive data through a secure connection. This makes it much harder to hack - although it's not impossible. As a precaution, we recommend that you avoid shopping with any online retailer that doesn't offer a secure connection, just so you're protected when you checkout.
Don't shop on public wifi 📡
Free public wi-fi hotspots used to be a great feature in the age of limited mobile data. These days, that's no longer the case, since mobile providers are increasingly competing to offer more data-rich packages.
The problem with public wifi is in the name - it's public! This means that anyone can access it, and use it as they see fit. A fraudster can easily connect to the network and use some malicious code to pick up internet traffic between your device and the network, catching every keystroke or tap you make.
Do yourself a favour and avoid these at all costs when shopping online, and you'll be in a much more secure place to begin with. Remember, data is king - mobile data, that is.
Apply some common sense 🤔
Finally, you should always use some good old fashioned common sense. If you receive an email or a text message about some incredible deal from a merchant you've never heard of, take a step back and ask yourself some basic questions like:
- Why did this shop contact me in the first place?
- Where did they get my details from?
- How come they're offering this huge discount when nobody else is?
- Is this an actual online store or is someone trying to trick me to give out my details?
Many fraudsters tend to lure their victims using 'too good to be true' discounts that usually expire in minutes - effectively pushing you to make decisions on the spot and buy something on impulse. Never give in to somebody who is trying to pressure you - any reputable merchants wouldn't do that.
And there you have it folks - following these simple steps should keep you shopping safely and securely over the Black Friday weekend and beyond. 🛍
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