An online survey conducted by global security technology company McAfee has found that an increasing number of Indians are planning to do shop online this holiday season, using the internet and their mobile phones. About 70% of the 1,100 Indians surveyed by Harris Interactive, which carried out the study, said they would shop online. In the light of these findings, McAfee also added that this would, however, expose them to various kinds of online scams as well.
Among the ’12 scams of Christmas’ that McAfee has identified for online-shopping Indians to beware of are social media scams (where scammers will use sites like Facebook and Twitter to offer special discounts on products); malicious mobile apps that could be accidentally downloaded that could steal your information or even send out premium-rate text messages without your knowledge; travel scams and phoney deals that seek your financial details.
Holiday spam and phishing that offer special gifts, fake charities seeking donations, online cards that may containviruses and fake classifieds plugginggreat holiday deals and part-time jobs that may require you to reveal a little too much personal information, should also set off alarm bells for online shoppers.
“For the millions of consumers who plan to go online this holiday season to shop for the best deals, finalise travel plans and update their social channels, it’s important that they enjoy those activities safely by checking their security protection on their computers and mobile devices first,” says Venkatsubrahmanyam Krishnapur, VP (Engineering- Consumer and Small Businesses) at McAfee.
“To keep their personal and financial information secure, it’s also important to be wary of offers that are too good to be true, not click on links or open attachments from people they don’t know or companies’ emails or sites that look suspect, and go directly to websites by typing their name in web address bar.”
The survey found that compared to other countries, India ranks highest (67%) on the metrics of respondents worrying about personal information being stolen while using a mobile app on the smart phone or tablet. Still, an astounding 95%of them are willing to provide some level of personal information to receive an offer that is of value to them. India also scored highest on the ranking of sharing credit card details in order to receive such offers. Indians are also more likely to be victims of a cyber scam; some 23% of the respondents had actually fallen victim to this earlier and almost 25% of them knew of someone else who has.