Let’s go back in time. Here’s the scenario: You’re hosting a party and the party prep includes a trip to the grocery store, the craft store, and the mall for the perfect dress. That’s three separate stops and several hours logged for party prep, before it even begins. Fast forward to 2016. What used to take hours to complete can now take minutes – that’s the beauty of shopping on social media via your mobile device. Now, you can browse for the perfect dress on Pinterest while waiting in line for coffee, or order decorations through your favorite retailer while scrolling through Facebook in bed. And like that, you’re the host with the most… Ta-da!
With so much of our time being spent on social media, it’s only logical we spend some money there, too. Mobile shopping on social media is the new frontier for e-commerce, and companies are quickly evolving their offerings to give us more of what we want and need.
With the newly added “buy buttons” on social posts, the ability to get what you want when you want it is easier than ever before – and cybercriminals will be quick to take note. In a recent blog we discussed hackers taking advantage of shopping apps, and social media shopping is poised for similar attacks. While you’re trying to score a deal on social media, hackers could be trying to steal your information. Any time you enter financial info, your guard should be up. Your data, and personal info, are on the line.
So before buying those cute shoes, follow these tips for smart social media shopping:
Think before you throw it in the bag: When purchasing items through social media sites, always do your research. Lookup well respected retailers, read reviews, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. A smart TV, less than half the price of name-brand competitors, is a tell-tale sign of a shady vendor. Stick to stores you trust, and look for verified social accounts.
Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi: If you feel the urge to make a purchase while you’re out, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Connecting to unprotected networks can expose your personal information and data to cybercriminals – whether shopping through social networks, or not.
Don’t give it all up: A secure, trustable social media site will never ask for your social security number or other private personal information. The more information you share, the easier it is for cybercriminals to steal your data or identity.
Check the paper trail: I know, checking payment history can be scary, especially after a shopping-spree. But it’s a security measure that you just can’t skip. Always look for fraudulent charges and names that you don’t recognize.
Update, update, update: Your mobile device cares about you. That’s why developers create updates to protect you from malware and infections. They have your back, so take some time and update your device.
Social media is fun, and add in shopping – double fun! But don’t lose focus of your security. Don’t share too much, think before you buy, and use your best judgment. Want an extra layer of protection? Download comprehensive software for your mobile device, such as McAfee® Mobile Security. It’s free for both Android and iOS, and offers a variety of protections to keep your mobile device safe for when you clear the (virtual) racks! Happy shopping!