Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers who shopped online in the past year have experienced payment fraud.

For the first time in history, there are more online shoppers (51 percent) than in-store shoppers, according to the Wall Street Journal. With the biggest shopping season upon us, commencing in the US on 25 November or Black Friday, cyber-criminals will be out doing their work.

Online stores are huge sites for targeted attacks by hackers who attempt to steal users’ financial details for their own schemes, making online shopping hazardous to any user.

NordVPN has offered the following tips to stay safe when shopping online:

  • When making an online payment, check if the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means it’s a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.
  • Be vigilant and wary when a website requests more information than is usually required – this usually means fraud.
  • Public Wi-Fi networks are common grounds for attackers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit on your expense – try and avoid using them while making online payments.
  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt all the data you share across the internet on any website. It’s the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure the data you share is safe and remains confidential.
  • Use strong passwords – weak passwords make it easy for hackers to break into your account and cause damage. Use a unique password for each site or account.

This article originally appeared at

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