5 Shocking Online Threats, and 8 Techniques For Safe Shopping During the Holidays


Black Friday marks the (frantic) beginning of the holiday shopping season. Stores large and small will have massive discounts, and millions of users will scour the Internet looking for deals. Unfortunately, the beginning of the shopping season also attracts the watchful eyes of cybercriminals. The Baidu Antivirus Security Center has recently observed an alarming increase in phishing attacks related to online shopping. We would like to remind consumers that they must be constantly vigilant when shopping online in order to avoid being tricked and losing money. The list below details five typical scams discovered by the Baidu Antivirus Security Center.


1. The Nonexistent iPhone 6

As this year's most popular smartphone, the iPhone 6 is a gift that many people hope to receive. However, beware of the many advertisements for a "Free" iPhone 6 on Facebook. Many of these are scams, and you will not actually have any chance to win a free iPhone 6. These scams make users enter forms upon forms of personal information before they finally realize that the free iPhone was just a pipe dream.

2. Unusually Cheap PlayStation 4 

As a gamer, when you see the hot sale and discount on PlayStation 4, doesn't it make your heart beat just a little bit faster? Unfortunately, this is also a trick that operates very similarly to the aforementioned iPhone 6 scam.

3. Theft of Online Shopping Accounts

Cybercriminals seem to have a great interest in Amazon accounts, as well as accounts from other shopping sites. The image below shows a scam that tricks users into entering their Amazon account and password. It looks almost exactly like the real Amazon login page, but if you look at the address bar, you can see that it’s just a well-disguised phishing webpage.

4. Problems During Online Payment

When you use PayPal or another third-party payment platform (these platforms also have deals this time of year), do not let your guard down or you may be duped. Like the above example, users may think they are on the official PayPal login page when, in fact, their account information is about to be intercepted by hackers.

5. After Purchasing, Watch Out For Fake Delivery Company Websites

After making an online purchase, a logistics company needs to physically ship your purchases to you. Phishing sites targeting FedEx, like the one below, can cause you added annoyance – and will also trick you into giving your home address to dangerous hackers.

From the above examples, we can see that cybercriminals are eyeing the entire purchase process, from shopping to payment, and even all the way to delivery. So how can customers shop with peace of mind? To help you, the Baidu Antivirus Security Center has put together eight simple techniques to stay safe while shopping online this holiday season:

1. Do not use a public WiFi network to shop online.

2. Make sure that the site you’re shopping on has an “HTTPS” label (especially during payment). The "S" at the end stands for “secure”.

3. Make sure to update your browser, your security software, and all of your general-use software to their latest versions. This will make sure that hackers aren’t taking advantage of loopholes in outdated software versions.

4. Beware of suspicious deals, no matter where (or who) the advertisement is from. 

5. Only shop on well-known or trustworthy sites, and make sure your security software has anti-phishing capabilities. Baidu Antivirus has a powerful built-in anti-phishing engine and always-on cloud protection that will help keep you safe from phishing attacks.

6. For credit card information, online shopping, online payment, and other highly sensitive personal data, use a separate email address to receive your shopping information. Do not disclose this private email address anywhere else.

7. Use a different password for each site you shop at, and do your best to use a strong password to protect your account security.

8. Pay attention to security reminders concerning banking, credit cards, online payment, etc. If you discover an account abnormality, immediately contact the website’s customer service staff for verification.