El Buen Fin is one of the most anticipated shopping seasons of 2023. The current edition will start this Friday, November 17, and will conclude on Monday, the 20th, with the participation of businesses throughout the country. During this time, consumers take advantage of offers, discounts and interest-free months, an opportunity to promote business growth with online and physical store purchases. However, during this shopping period, cybercriminals take the opportunity to launch attacks and steal personal and financial data.
According to the study Cybersecurity in Mexico 2023 carried out by the MX Internet Association (AIMX) and the Council for Data and Emerging Technologies (CDETECH), of 712 Internet users surveyed, 73% have attacks related to financial aspects as their first cause of concern. In second place, with 66%, is the fear of identity theft, a problem that in addition to being financial in nature, can affect the private sphere.
On the other hand, the Cyber Police Unit of the Secretariat of Citizen Security of Mexico City indicates that fraud, identity theft, password theft and phishing are the most common cyber incidents in periods of online offers and sales such as Buen Fin. According to the agency, social networks are the main source of identity and information theft, followed by websites and instant messaging systems, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, so it is on these channels that you should pay attention to avoid being a victim of a cyberattack.
Cybersecurity tips during Buen Fin 2023
Use a secure internet connection
Before purchasing online, the first thing is to make sure that you are using a secure internet connection. A private Wi-Fi network or mobile data connection will prevent the theft of personal data and impacts on personal finances. If you are using a public Wi-Fi network, it is important to use a VPN to protect yourself.
Check the security of the website
Currently, the lock icon in the navigation bar does not guarantee that a website is secure, as it is a service for which you can pay. In addition, there are apocryphal pages on the Internet that pretend to be e-commerce sites, and they are so well made that at first glance they appear authentic.
The fear of missing out on a good deal may make you act quickly, however, it’s worth pausing before shopping online. Some key points to verify the authenticity of a web page are the spelling and quality of the images, as well as a URL that accurately indicates the name of the brand or business. Many scam sites have a URL that looks official, but is misspelled.
Use strong passwords
To protect your bank accounts while shopping online it is important to use a strong password on online shopping sites. A strong password should include random uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and signs. It is also important to change passwords regularly and make them unique for each social media account, digital platform or applications.
Do not share personal information
Never share your personal information with strangers, this includes credit card numbers or home addresses. If you receive an email or text message from a supposed seller asking for this information, it’s likely a scam.
Use a digital card to shop online
The digital cards offered in most banks’ online banking are a great option when making online purchases, as they are single-use and prevent data from being used for other charges. It is convenient to rely on the mobile banking application to monitor bank account movements, as well as temporarily block them.
Do not click on suspicious links
Never click on strange links or open attachments that look suspicious. These links and files are usually received via email or text message and may contain malware that can steal personal or financial data.
Activate two-step authentication
Two-step authentication provides an additional layer of security, adding another step to the login process on social networks and digital platforms. To use it, an authenticator application must be configured on the mobile phone. When you log in, the app will ask you to enter a password and a verification code generated by the app. In this way, information and personal data are kept more secure.
Keep devices up to date
From time to time, software manufacturers release updates to fix security vulnerabilities in cell phones, laptops, and other devices. It is important to install these updates as soon as they are available to protect devices from attacks.
In addition to the tips above, you can also follow some additional recommendations to protect your financial and personal data during Buen Fin 2023:
- Do not trust offers that seem too good to be true: doubt offers that are well below the market price, since these may be of dubious origin. During Buen Fin, it is possible to verify if the company is duly registered to participate in the event, on the official site https://www.elbuenfin.org/.
- Read reviews before buying: Before purchasing from a new website, it is important to know if the website is safe and legitimate, or if other consumers have had problems with it.
- Avoid online purchases from public computers: If you have to make a purchase from an internet cafe or library, be sure to log out of your account as soon as you’re done and clear your browsing history.
- Ignore suspicious SMS messages: if they tell you that you must acknowledge a charge through a link, it is better to go directly to the official contact channels of your banking institution.
- Avoid believing in chains of offers sent through instant messaging applications or SMS and desist from spreading them, as they could put your information, that of your family and friends at risk.
How to recognize and respond to an attack when shopping online
It is important to act quickly in the face of a cyber attack. The main signs of these attacks include:
- Unknown charges on credit or debit cards
- Suspicious emails or text messages
- Problems signing in to your accounts
- Unexpected changes to your online accounts
When you see any of these warning signs, it is important to change the passwords immediately and, if applicable, report the attack to the Cyber Police of each entity. In Mexico City, the authorities invite you to write to: [email protected], or the official social media accounts @SSC_CDMX and @UCS_GCDMX.
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