The holiday season is here and that means lots of online shopping will be going on. And while most employers want their staff to shop on their own time, inevitably they will be doing some shopping while at the office, and while connected to your business Wi-Fi.

Even if you have exceptional employees that only do personal online shopping during their lunch or breaks, your business network and devices could still be at risk if they’re on your network.

Tech savvy Singaporeans are on the internet over 7 hours a day. (Singapore Business Review)

About 84% of the population in Singapore are internet users and 62% believe new technology offers more benefits than risks. As an employer, there are ways to mitigate risks that increase during the holiday shopping season and set some ground rules to help your employees shop safely online.

At ManagedIT we are constantly updating our clients’ systems to counter every potential cyberthreat. We designed our managed IT security services for small businesses provide high end security at an affordable price. This time of year, we go the extra mile for our clients by giving them tips for setting safe online shopping guidelines for their staff.

Here are our top safe shopping tips to help you and your staff shop safely online.

Set these 5 Ground Rules for Safe Online Shopping from the Office

Setting guidelines for your staff’s online shopping from the office helps both them and you. These are also tips that they can use anywhere to ensure they’re not the victim of stolen credit card credentials, malware, or a data breach.

The sales and frenzy of holiday shopping make it an easy time of year for cybercriminals to target unsuspecting online shoppers. They use things like popup ads, social media posts, and emails promising great deals but carrying dangerous malware.

What types of information do cyber criminals try to get?

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  • Financial information (bank logins, mobile wallet accounts)
  • Credit card details
  • Corporate data
  • Personal profiling data (passwords, email, etc…)
  • Access to system resources to plant malware
  • Sensitive information that can be used for identity theft
  • Smart employers and employees can stop them in their tracks, by knowing what to watch out for and rules of thumb for staying safe while shopping online.

1. Go to Websites Directly, Rather than through a Link

It’s easy for someone to get fooled by a shortened link, because they’re used often on sites like Twitter. But, it’s easy for a malicious site to be hidden in a link that you think is to your favorite store.

Your staff can stay much safer online by typing the URL of the website (such as www.q0010.sg) instead of trusting a link that they received in an email or social media post.

2. Use Strong Passwords that are Unique

You don’t want staff using the same password on an online shopping site as they do to login to your corporate applications, because if it’s stolen, one of the first things a hacker does is find out where else that password is used.

A good guideline to set for staff is to use different passwords for different logins, and use strong ones, with at least 7 or more characters and a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Using a password manager app is a great way to ensure strong and unique passwords for every login.

3. Only Shop Secure Sites with “Https”

A telltale sign that a site isn’t a legitimate online shopping site is if it’s not secure. If the address is “http://” that means they don’t have proper encryption for safe transmission of your credit card details.

Have staff look for the lock icon to the left of the URL and to only shop sites that being with “https://” the “S” meaning it’s secure.

4. Don’t Shop When on Public Wi-Fi

It’s great to have a public Wi-Fi connection when you need it, but they are targets for hackers who use them to steal data from anyone who’s connected to them. Many employees use their mobile devices for work as well as personal use, so company data could also be at risk should a hacker get in, even if the employee isn’t at work.

Teach your staff that it’s not safe to enter passwords or credit card details while on a free public wireless network, and to either switch off the Wi-Fi and use cellular data to shop or wait until they get back to a secure wireless network.

5. Delete Credit Card Details After Shopping

This is a good guideline to use when shopping with a company card for office items as well as personal holiday shopping. Once a purchase is complete, delete the card from your profile so it’s not available should a hacker get into your account.

This also helps you stay safe should the retailer suffer a data breach, since you’ll have deleted your card details from their database.

Bonus Tip: Use pre-paid credit cards when online shopping instead of cards directly attached to your bank account.

Do You Need an IT Security Check Before the New Year?

There’s a good chance that online shopping is already happening from your office Wi-Fi. It’s a smart idea to get an end-of-year IT security check and it’s something that ManagedIT can do for you to ensure your network hasn’t been breached.

Contact us today online or by phone +65 6748 8776 to schedule your free IT security consultation.

If you are ready to take your IT Security to the next level, give us a call or use the web form to contact us.

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ManagedIT.SG is an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses in Singapore. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!