It is that time of the year again when people across India are deeply into festival shopping. To cash in on the frenzy, online retailers offer attractive deals. The flip side of such offers is that it also leads to online scams.

Quick Heal, an online security firm, has warned online shoppers to stay alert to scams that can land them in trouble. To help internet users, Quick Heal has listed tips to keep in mind while shopping online to avoid falling prey to online scams. 

  1. Do not click on popup ads, no matter how genuine they seem.
  2. Do not respond to unwanted promotional emails, even if the sender is familiar. There is a good chance that the person's email address is hacked.
  3. Do not share personal information and confidential details over the phone, no matter what.
  4. Do not click on links for shopping or banking websites received in emails.
  5. Always prefer renowned shopping websites such as Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal and more, instead of some new and shady websites.
  6. If you choose to make an online payment for the product you just purchased, make sure the payment gateway is well protected. The payment website URL must begin with "https" and feature a lock symbol.
  7. Opt for cash on delivery if you are unsure of a website.
  8. If you think the offer is too good to be true, it is likely untrue. Shop smart and stay safe.
  9. On social media sites like Facebook, prevent clicking on surveys that offer free gifts on completion.
  10. Always shop while you are connected to a secured Wi-Fi network or mobile data instead of open Wi-Fi.
  11. Before purchasing a product, always read for user reviews and ratings to ensure the quality of the product.
  12. Several online scams are run under the name of charity. Be certain of where you make donations.
  13. Always compare product offers with another retailer to be sure of the offer's authenticity.
  14. Have a reliable internet security program on your PC and mobile that will block unwanted phishing and infected websites and spam malicious emails.

According to a recent survey conducted by Avast security firm, nearly 84% of Indians are worried about their personal information being stolen from their phone but only 36.5% take precautions.

During festivals, we often let our guard down and it is during this time that hackers perform the trickiest of operations. So follow the precautions even as you take advantage of the discounts and deals this festive season.