Seven tips to your keep online purchases safe

By TPN/Lusa, in Consumer Rights, Business · 09-02-2021 18:56:00 · 0 Comments

today is Safer Internet Day. DECO PROTESTE, the Consumer Protection organization, work with Google to prepare some advice for those who still afraid of buying online.

DECO PROTESTE partners with Google to create “Net & Siga”, a project that gathers information on how to shop online, use social media, home banking or state services on the internet safely, available at www.netesiga.pt.

A European study, released in January 2020, reveals that 23 percent of Portuguese do not make purchases on the internet because they don’t believe on the security of online payments. In general, about 30 percent of the Portuguese have never had access to the internet, the numbers are even higher in rural areas, and people over 50 are the one that go online the least. These data place Portugal below the European average in internet use (27 percent against the more than 45 percent average in Europe) and the most reticent Member State for online transactions in the European Union.

In the current pandemic context due to covid-19, online shopping is increasing and is an asset in full lockdown. The advantages of using the internet outweigh the dangers, as long as proper precautions are taken.

In the first lockdown, in March 2020, messages with fraudulent schemes increased, many of them related to promises to cure the new coronavirus. It is possible that, during lockdown, scams will again emerge to promote fake fundraising campaigns, covid-19 screening tests, vaccination campaigns claiming to bereimbursed by the NHS ,or price reduction on water, gas and electricity bills, or links referring to a document on the Tax portal.

To avoid problems, DECO PROTESTE recommends seven essential rules:

  1. Whether by email, WhatsApp or SMS, always delete messages written with spelling or grammatical errors.
  2. Be wary of messages written in other languages, especially from official bodies. These always communicate in Portuguese from Portugal.
  3. Never click on the link sent. It is preferable to copy and paste it into the Google search box to find information about a possible scam.
  4. Always be suspicious of heals or miracle cures. It's probably fraud.
  5. Trust only in communications from official bodies, such as the Directorate-General for Health and the Ministry of Health.
  6. The supply of basic necessities, such as masks, disinfectant gel or even toilet paper, is usually a scam.
  7. The addresses that refer to forms for collecting personal data are also suspect. It can be a scheme to collect data that will allow fraudsters to access your credentials/passwords for your email or home banking.

Online security begins with internet access points, your Smartphone, computer or your router. Take steps to ensure the protection of the different equipment, available resources on “Net & Siga” at www.netesiga.pt.



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