Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

Follow these tips to shop safely and securely and not have your holidays ruined by malware or phishing scams.

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.

According to data from Monetate, an ecommerce technology company, holiday shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was actually down from PC Web browsers this year compared to 2010. However, holiday shopping from mobile phones more than doubled from 3.1 percent to 7.36 percent, and holiday shopping conducted from tablets skyrocketed from 1.06 percent to 4.68 percent.

Clearly, mobile devices are becoming a part of the mainstream holidays shopping arsenal. It is interesting that the Monetate data indicates click-through and conversion rates are lower on mobile phones, but tablet usage is very similar to traditional PCs.

Comodo predicts that roughly 18 million people will do holiday shopping from a smartphone this year. The security company offers up some suggestions to help shoppers avoid scams, fraud, and malware for a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Ensure that websites used to shop and search for gifts are secure

Shoppers are using mobile devices and special holiday shopping apps to find the best deal. Most users don’t have the same sort of security controls in place on a mobile device that they have on a PC, so it is important to be aware of the sites you are visiting. Stick with sites you know and trust. Obscure sites with great bargains may seem like a good deal, but could be a fraud or phishing scam.

Ensure that mobile devices have necessary security protections

On that note, you should also make sure you are taking appropriate security precautions with your mobile devices. The risk for mobile devices in general is lower than on PC platforms, and varies from one mobile OS to another. You may not necessarily need to install security tools on your mobile device, but you should at least make sure you use the built-in security controls to protect your device(s) as much as possible.

Ensure connections are safe

Mobile shopping is often conducted over public Wi-Fi networks--at a coffee shop, mall, hotel or airport for example. Mobile holidays shoppers should be aware that those connections are often insecure, and that sensitive information like credit card numbers may be intercepted if transmitted unencrypted. Make sure you are connecting to websites using encrypted HTTPS connections. For additional protection, Comodo also recommends that you use its wireless security tools. In the days prior to Black Friday, Comodo offered users tips for safer holiday shopping.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags spamantispamvirusessmartphoneshardware systemsshoppingtabletsphishingmalwareMonetateconsumer electronicssecurity

More about Comodo

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tony Bradley

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place