Kingston, Jamaica – Consumers are being urged to safeguard their personal information when shopping online during the Christmas season to avoid becoming victims of scamming and identity theft.
Information Technology Manager at the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Christopher Martin, said that shoppers must recognise that they are the first line of defence against cyberattacks and they must take steps to protect themselves.
“Be very careful [and] ensure that the device and browser you are using are secure. Also, do not save your password on your browser. It is not safe. Anybody who goes on your browser after you can access your information,” he pointed out.
Martin, who was speaking at a recent Think Tank held at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) headquarters here, is advising online shoppers to use complex passwords instead of familiar names that persons with nefarious intentions can guess.
“Be very strategic in how you create your password. It should be simple for you but strong for the hacker or scammer who wants to get [into your account],” he said.
“Also, try to change your password as often as possible and do not share it with anyone,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the CAC, Dolsie Allen, is encouraging consumers to be intentional in their shopping.
This involves staying away from impulse buys, being mindful and purposeful in spending, making a budget and sticking to it, and keeping track of how much is being spent.
“We encourage our consumers that, while we shop… we be smart in our approach. We know there are many different products on the market [and] many different offerings; we see the advertisements,” said Allen.
The CAC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and has a responsibility to protect consumers. It carries out its mandate through consumer education, the handling of complaints and by conducting market surveillance. (CMC)