cyber threats

Cyber threats: 10 ways to safeguard your online transactions

Just let your finger do the clicking, and you have everything you want on your doorstep. How convenient! No longer are we required to set aside a few hours each week to buy products. The internet has become a game-changer when it comes to shopping, as you can, via sitting on your couch get everything you want. From movies to groceries, furniture, branded goods, you name it; you get it.

As prevalent the online shopping is, there is still an understandable concern regarding its safety. The credit card industry reports fraud and subsequent arrests almost every day. There are several examples related to credit card scams and card transactions. Data from the Australian Payment Network shows that in the 2017-2018 financial year, credit card fraud grew by 4.8% to $565 million- which is a five-fold increase.

Based on the above facts, what actions should the online shopper take? Just stop using the card or identify the potential threats and then accordingly take steps to tackle them? So, in this article, we shall understand the common online threats, types of card fraud in Australia and measures to avoid card fraud when shopping online.

Standard card frauds detected in Australia.

More and more people fraudsters are laying their hands on the people’s hard-earned money through online platforms. New techniques and methods are constantly developed to get personal information (such as banking details) from you. You don’t need some help from cybersecurity experts to protect your personal information. Still, by just following few guidelines on online shopping, you can easily protect yourself from a data breach. Before that, let’s understand the common cybersecurity threats that every 2 Australians mainly venture out of 5 using their credit card on online platforms.


Financial fraud:

Financial frauds are as old as the online-based shopping industry. Since the time it was considered, individuals have attempted and then prevailed in con online shops. Either through unapproved exchanges, fake discounts, or alterations, they figure out how to cheat the online shoppers and hurt their income. The most seasoned stunt in the book is to demand discounts for illegally acquired items.



Have you ever experienced an online shop with a commenting section for customers to leave feedback? When that happens, the site could be a fraud that leads you to spam. Messages left in the comments section are futile or destructive, much like email spam. There are two ways to fill the commenting area: either with useless information or leaving blank comments. Essentially, this can harm the shopping experience for clients, or it may bring spam to the site, which brings unsafe areas that can create more mischief. Moreover, spamming has the potential to compromise reliable site performance. Therefore, it is best to be aware of it.



Phishing allows hackers to pose as a legitimate business on a website and impersonate them. Someone following you or a current client will receive an email recommending a discount for your business. Furthermore, the recent deals are likely to be highlighted and tailored using their needs. Without going the extra mile to inquire about the terms and conditions, the customer will fall into a trap. Hackers will undoubtedly gain access to critical information from these entities. However, only a two-phase check can address every scenario.



Viruses and malware are malicious programs that cause damage to a website. A malware program, for instance, might compromise your online store’s performance or cause it to crash.

Online stores have many weaknesses which are identified prior by cybercriminals.

In addition to being automatically programmed, malware is hazardous. It is impossible to combat these programs since they are installed and run automatically. To protect your online store from malware, you should constantly update your website or use an antivirus program. Malicious software hackers and anti-malware providers are never far apart in their fight. As often as possible, you should update your security system.


Ransomware attacks:

As ransomware attacks have grown in complexity and severity, there have been more problems. It is impossible to access your files or computer during this kind of attack. At that point, hackers will demand a payment for getting that limitation removed. Online customers get duped into opening malicious commercials and phishing messages by cybercriminals who use the site to display pop-ups. These pop-up announcements and pop-unders usually contain fabulous deals, upon tapping which the screen will either become blank or files on the hard drive will be scrambled.

Tips to take care of your credit card to avoid the fraud

Protect your credit card from the very beginning

You should immediately sign on to your card. Turn on suspicious activity alerts and spend a few minutes working on your password and PIN.

Make sure you choose strong passwords for your credit card accounts that are unique to each performance. When offered, multi-factor confirmation or using the same PIN on your bank and retail sites are not recommended.


Update your antivirus software regularly.

Keeping your software updated and your antivirus current is key to protecting yourself from fraud when you shop through online platforms. Beware, especially if it’s an unlicensed and untrusted antivirus program, as many of those phony programs are meant to steal your data. It is worth investing in an antivirus service trusted and using a paid version, so your information is protected.


Be sure to keep your account number private.

While out in the open, try not to let anyone see your cards. Giving your account number over the phone isn’t a good idea, even if you’re talking to a bank or trader you trust. Be cautious with emails, texts, phone calls, and online-based media in which you are asked to provide personal information.

Eliminate the postal system’s sensitive data by opting for electronic statements and payments. Additionally, you should remove personal information from accounts before you delete them.


Never shop from suspicious online sites.

It is not secure. You should not enter sensitive credit card information on this website, as it is not safe. Before making a purchase, you can check the security status in the top left corner of the URL (a lock icon appears) or check ‘HTTPS://’. HTTP with an ‘s’ is a security update, reducing the risk of fraud. You should be concerned about websites that do not integrate payment methods, such as PayPal. Customers’ online reviews can also provide a solid indicator of how trustworthy a website is.


Update your contact information.

Inform your bank that you are moving from your current address. At your new location, you will still have access to your statements and other information, eliminating the fear of getting a hold of the wrong hand.

Be sure you’ve given your financial institutions your current phone number and email so that they will know how to contact you if they suspect fraud. Additionally, make sure you understand how your financial institution will send you alerts. Depending on your location, texting, emailing, or calling might be your options if you need to be reached.


Keep an eye on your receipts.

If you have excess space on your receipt, create a line so that nobody can write different numbers. Checking your account summary against your account is also a great idea so you can identify any possibly false exchanges. Finally, do not simply throw away old receipts or copies. Make your account safe by removing the ones you don’t need.


Ensure your devices and networks are secure.

In case your browser stores your credit card number, you might not be safe from fraud. It is recommended that you disable Autofill in all of your web browsers to achieve this.
Furthermore, you might wish to consider a digital wallet, a payment system that resides on your phone and allows you to make digital payments using your credit cards. Because digital wallets use encryption, tokenisation, and confirmation, they are more secure than using a credit card. You should secure your phone if you intend to use a digital wallet by making it as complex as possible by requiring a unique mark and a password, and download a telephone tracker application if you lose it.

Furthermore, you might wish to consider a digital wallet, a payment system that resides on your phone and allows you to make digital payments using your credit cards. Because digital wallets use encryption, tokenisation, and confirmation, they are more secure than using a credit card. You should secure your phone if you intend to use a digital wallet by making it as complex as possible by requiring a unique mark and a password, and download a telephone tracker application if you lose it.


Frequently check your account.

It is crucial to credit card security to examine your new record, and it is not hard to perform. Through the application of your bank, online, or over the phone. You can, too, set up email and text alerts for your card issuers so they will notify you about unusual activity. Think about joining with credit-observing assistance if you previously suffered from fraud or information fraud.


Don’t wait to report lost cards and suspected fraud.

In the event you lose your credit, notify your bank or credit supporter of any untruthful actions. Immediate action can provide them with another card and account number to block your card and account number.


For extra protection, use the virtual card.

An additional way to protect yourself is to get a virtual card number from your bank. The virtual card number will enable you to shop online without entering your actual card number, so you can avoid having to provide it when making a purchase. Having no access to your exact card number makes it impossible for someone to steal it.

How to protect yourself against the scam: additional tips
Among other things you can do to protect yourself from fraud are:

    • It would be best to not respond to the spam emails and chain letters claiming to be from government agencies or renowned corporations.
    • Never share your bank account details, personal information, a copy of your passport, or any other documents associated with your bank account.
    • Whenever someone asks you to provide personal information, make sure they are reliable.
    • Do not send large sums of money overseas or accept a large lottery prize if someone overseas approaches you.
    • Please educate yourself on cybersecurity threats to identify them before you fall victim to them.


Can I use my credit card to shop online or make online purchases?

Yes, absolutely! Shopping online with a credit card is safe. Nevertheless, the security of your card is dependent on its use, including its connectivity and device security. A secure e-commerce site protects its payment pages from data breaches by encrypting the information. Cybercriminals cannot access your card information through encrypted channels. It assumes that you are using a secure platform to shop.

Fraudulent credit card transactions cost thousands of Australians their financial security each year. You can avoid contributing to the statistics by keeping your card information safe. Do keep a close watch on who uses your credit card when and where.

NSWIT Support provides cyber threat assessment and IT audit services for businesses and large corporations based in Australia. Cybercrime attacks are targeting businesses constantly, so we can help if yours is experiencing a crisis. We provide IT consulting in NSW. Contact us today!