Malware - the gift you don't want re-gifted: Eight Top Tips from Trend Micro to help ensure safe online holiday shopping

OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Online retail in Canada continues to increase, and according to a recent survey by TD Bank (Anatomy of an Online Shopper), more than seven in 10 (72 percent) of Canadians surveyed do at least some of their holiday shopping online.

As the online industry grows, cybercriminals are continuously finding ways to take advantage of unaware users or unsecured processes. How can you prevent this unwanted gift? For starters, simply being aware of the most common online threats — such as spam/junk mail, phishing and adware — can help ensure a safer online shopping experience.

Follow these proactive steps to help safeguard your online shopping security and privacy:

  1. Connect to a secure network – avoid using open or public Wi-Fi. There's a bigger chance for attackers to intercept your connection and obtain your access details such as passwords, and usernames.
  2. Bookmark websites – to avoid typing in the wrong address, always bookmark your most trusted shopping sites.
  3. Avoid opening unusual emails and links – to the untrained eye, distinguishing a valid email from a fake one could be a little difficult. If you want to make sure, look out for outrageous subject lines that come with "offers" that seem too good to be true. If you're still unsure, you can double check with an official source.
  4. Think before you click – as mentioned above, ads could be more than just pesky pop-ups. Be wary of ads that come from sites you visit, including social media sites, as malicious ads can be tailored to compel a click that can infect your system with malware.
  5. Update security patches and browsers when prompted– keeping browsers and apps updated can lessen the risk of vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
  6. Read your EULA (end-user license agreement) – this may seem like tiresome reading but if you want to beef up your security and avoid unwanted privacy issues, a EULA should inform if the app or service monitors your online activities, or if your information is given to third parties.
  7. Make sure the order checkout is encrypted – hackers can easily exploit vulnerabilities to obtain personal details like your password or other information. If you're going to shop online, do business with sites that use encrypted payment forms.
  8.  Keep track of your bank or credit statements – to ensure no fraudulent charges are being posted to your accounts, check statements regularly for any unverified transactions.

"Now that data breaches and incidents of hacking and identity theft are becoming more common, online shoppers should protect themselves against likely attacks that could threaten their privacy," said Scott Perry, Director of Marketing, Trend Micro. "There are a number of different methods that can be used to invade a user's privacy, and sooner or later, an unaware user is bound to run into threats such as phishing, online scams, spam, Internet fraud, and malicious URLs."

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on more than 26 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by more than 1,200 threat experts around the globe.  For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.

SOURCE Trend Micro Canada

For further information: Media Contact for Canada: Claire M. Tallarico, 416-616-9940

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