MENA’s online shoppers urge to safeguard against increasing risks

March 12, 2014 1:11 pm

One of the world’s leading internet security and privacy companies has warned MENA’s growing mobile shoppers to stay vigilant against a rising tide of cybercrime and malware attacks.

David Gorodyansky, CEO of world-leading VPN HotspotShield, issued a series of tips to keep wireless shoppers safe.

“More and more consumers are using their tablets and smartphones to do their shopping whenever inspiration strikes, taking advantage of free wi-fi hotspots and unlimited data plans,” he said. “However, some shoppers get more than they bargained when sneaky scammers troll Wi-Fi hotspots and high speed data terminals looking to score credit card numbers, passwords and personal information,” he added.

According to the latest Cisco® Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will post the world’s-fastest mobile data traffic growth rate from 2013-2018. Earlier this year, Euromonitor International revealed that internet retail sales are expected to grow by 95% in the UAE alone over the next five years.

Secure your Wi-Fi Gateway!
“It is hard to beat the feeling of nabbing that must have item through the convenience of an accessible and open Wi-Fi connection but be aware – cyber criminals are often on the same network waiting for the right moment to strike. Protect yourself by downloading security applications such as Hotspot Shield, which gives the user a secure mobile Wi-Fi connection with HTTPS encryption and anonymous browsing capabilities – this keeps prying eyes out of your phone and ultimately away from your wallet,” said Gorodyansky.

Pass the app-titude test!
Be on the lookout for rogue apps that only appear as legitimate apps that use their likeability such as brand logos and names. These impersonators may turn out to be malware and phishing scams that pull sensitive information from your phone and place them directly into the hands of cybercriminals. Do a little homework researching the developer’s credentials before pressing the download button.

If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is!
When swiping through your favorite shopping website, the occasional banner ad might show up offering the prize of a lifetime. Be aware that phishing scams are lurking around the dark corners of the web – always second guess the validity of too good to be true offers.

Reputation matters!
Before clicking the checkout button, if the mobile site has the approval of third party organizations and positive customer reviews. It is crucial the site adheres to industry security and privacy standards while keeping your information safe from a massive data breach.

Keep it simple!
Believe or not, protecting your mobile device from cybercriminals is as easy and convenient as finding an open Wi-Fi network. After downloading the free Hotspot Shield VPN app, simply turn it on to secure your connection while shopping, booking travel, banking online and even Skyping with friends and family. To date, the app has successfully detected and blocked 28.6 billion potential malware threats on mobile devices, including phishing and spam sites.

Hotspot Shield
AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield is the most trusted VPN service in the world, protecting users’ IP addresses, encrypting all Internet communications and preventing hackers from stealing sensitive data while using unsecure Wi-Fi networks. Globally, Hotspot Shield has surpassed 200 million global downloads. Growing by more than nine million new downloads per month, the VPN now the most popular service of its kind in the world and the No. 1 security and privacy app on iPhone and iPad devices. Hotspot Shield protects and keeps private more than 350,000 social media messages and 50,000 emails every hour. In addition to privacy, security and access, the mobile app saves money by compressing data: in 2013 Hotspot Shield mobile apps saved users more than 220 million megabytes (MB) of mobile data usage.