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André Cordeiro
.PT Cybersecurity Analyst
Buy online with security and trust
Today is Computer Security Day, a date that alerts us to the importance of protecting our data while we navigate the vast digital ocean.

According to the Study of the Digital Economy in Portugal, 85 per cent of Portuguese use the Internet and, in 2022, around 54 per cent of Portuguese made purchases online. With the Christmas season upon us, we can expect to see a rise in online shopping. Based on data provided by SIBS Analytics, online shopping increased by around 31 per cent over the Christmas period last year compared to the previous year.

However, with the increase in e-commerce in 2022, we are witnessing not only an increase in cybercrime, with a significant 114% increase in reported cases of Phishing (Gabinete Cibercrime), but also "computer/communications fraud" becoming the crime related to information technology most recorded by the authorities (Centro Nacional de Cibersegurança).

Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and it's increasingly challenging to discern between a legitimate website and a phishing scam, so it's essential to know a few tips to buy online with security and trust:

  • Check the Store's Reputation: Before buying from an unknown online shop, check the reviews of other consumers. Sites such as Portal da Queixa can help you understand whether the shop is reliable or has problems.
  • Look for Security/Trust Certificates: Look for security/trust seals, such as the CONFIO Trustmark, which certify the credibility and authenticity of websites, as well as guaranteeing that websites comply with best practices in digital commerce and that consumer rights are safeguarded.
  • Beware of Exaggerated Offers and Promotions: Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. Fraudulent sites often use very low prices to lure unsuspecting buyers.
  • Read the Privacy and Return Policies: Before you buy, read the shop's privacy and return policies. This helps you understand how your data will be used and what the procedures are if you need to return a product.
  • Keep Records of Your Purchases: Save confirmation emails, receipts and purchase details. It can come in handy if you need to contact the shop or resolve any problems with the purchase.
  • Use Secure Payment Methods: Prefer to pay with secure methods, such as credit cards or well-known online payment platforms. These offer extra layers of security in case of problems with the purchase.
  • Be Alert to Suspicious Emails or Messages: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in suspicious emails or messages. These could be scams aimed at stealing your personal or financial information.

By being aware of your rights and the precautions you need to take, you will be better prepared to shop online with confidence and security. Take advantage of the convenience offered by online shopping, but always be careful to protect your personal and financial information.

Please note: the articles on this blog may not convey the opinion of .PT, but of its author.
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