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Shopping Safely Online during the Great Singapore Sale

Another year, another Great Singapore Sale, another year our wallets and bank accounts cry for days. But hold your horses because this year, might just be a bit different than before! It has been moved online!

Touted as Singapore’s biggest retail event, the GSS usually runs between June and August, and in May this year, organisers annouced that it was cancelling the sale due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, two months later, they decided to make the move to run the sale as a virtual event instead!

So for the first time since it started 26 years ago, the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) will be a largely virtual event, with a focus on further helping local retailers go digital.

The annual sale, which will run from Sept 9 to Oct 10, will feature some 800 brands this year.

But with online shopping comes a whole bag-load of security issues.

So here are 7 safety tips you should take note of when shopping online:

#1: Don’t open PDF catalogues in emails.

How many infected attachments does it take to cause a ransomware outbreak? Not many! Any deals/offers should be in the email itself, not hidden in a risky PDF.

#2: Watch out for fake websites in emails.

If an email convinces you to shop at a particular store, dodge the risk of a scam email and just Google search the store directly for a safe link.

#3: Watch out for gift card scams.

Gift cards are the recurring most popular item on wish lists, and attackers will often ask for payment via Gift Cards themselves. Don’t get stuck laundering money by mistake, or purchasing a dead card.

#4: Keep your money off of public Wi-Fi.

So you just saw a blender on sale and you are dying to get it. But the problem is, you are currently at the train station waiting for your train. But then, you realise something…there is free WiFi! But here’s the thing about free public WiFi… it’s public. You don’t know who else is sitting on that network and monitoring your transactions. So if you really have to buy that blender right now, switch to mobile data, or if you can, wait until you’re home/at the office. Like they said, patience is a virtue.

#5: Checkout using safe payment gateways.

Have you ever seen those scams where a fake EFT reader is put onto an ATM to steal funds? Lately, scammers have been doing the same thing on website checkouts! They intercept your order and steal your card data using a tactic called e-skimming. Always check for https, or just stay safe using services like Paypal.

#6: Switch to credit, or limit your spending account.

Use a credit card whenever possible for a more secure transaction. But if you must use a debit card, make sure it has a limited spend-per-day and transaction alerts set up with your bank.

#7: Don’t click popups.

Have you seen those popups before that you are the 9999th person to visit the site and therefore won $10,000? Well, let me just say this nicely to not hurt your feelings: you are probably the thousandth ‘9999th person’ who has visited this site.

Let’s face it, money doesn’t fall from the sky and cows don’t fly. And if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is. So hit that beautiful ‘x’ button and move on with your beautiful life.

Want to find out more about IT Security for your business and employees/colleagues who might be using their work laptops to shop online? Click that green button below to contact us today!

eVantage Technology is a professional and trusted IT solutions provider, dedicated to providing exceptional service to companies in Singapore and across Asia.

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