25/06/2015 11:12 AM IST | Updated 31/10/2016 7:58 PM IST

Top 7 Tips For Staying Safe On Cyber Weekends

TO GO WITH 'SRI LANKA-IT-TELECOM-BROADBAND' Internet surfers sit and use computers at a shopping mall in Colombo 15 September 2007. Home to some 1.5 billion people, South Asia is paying a high price to access the Internet as service providers have been slow to deliver cheaper broadband connections, analysts say. The region has embraced telephones, mobile phones and computers and India has a flourishing software and outsourcing industry, noted industry watchers at the first South Asia Broadband Congress here earlier this month. AFP PHOTO/Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Online shopping has certainly exploded in a big way, in India. While the sites have their usual hiccups, customers have to be wary of their money because most of the payments happen online. Websites and banks, do not take responsibility, for payments that you may unknowingly make on spurious sites.

We've partnered with DBS in its Action against Cyber Theft (#ACTnow) intiative to bring you a few steps to help stay safe online:

Always type the website address on your web/mobile browsers. Always keep the padlock icon at the upper or bottom right corner of the webpage 'On' during secure transactions. A lot of browsers have their 'auto-fill' modes on, instantaneously. Hence, #ACTNOW and shop on your home PC (especially if you do it a lot), and not from a cybercafe, which may use software that capture your data.

  • While paying online, always check your security image and personalized message to ensure that you are on a genuine website. Also use the virtual keyboard option to prevent keystroke capturing. from shared or unprotected computers/smart phones in public places. Never ever let the browser save your passwords. But on the whole, most popular shopping sites are affiliated to well-known payment gateways such as BillDesk.

  • Avoid sharing information through e-mails with pop-up messages (phishing attacks) that ask you to disclose confidential details such as passwords, IPINs, debit card number, ATM PIN, OTP, VBV / Master secure code / Diners Club ProtectBuy password, credit card number, bank account information, etc. Also beware of scams that ask for your personal information over phone (vishing) or through SMS (smishing).

  • Do not download any software, applications on your PC, laptop, tablets or mobile phone, unless they are from a trusted source/brand. #ACTNOW and check whether you have installed a legitimate (non-pirated) operating system with the latest Internet security/anti-virus/anti-spyware/personal firewall/ security patches on your computer, smartphones and tablets or any other electronic gadget.

  • Do not transfer funds to or share your account details with unknown/ unverified sources, who will try and tempt you with commissions or attractive offers. Also please note that, if you participate in any such act, it is considered illegal and can result in a jail term. #ACTNOW and say 'no' to any too-good-to-be true deals, which is exactly what they are - mirages.

  • Your friend is using a cool app on her iPhone and you want to desperately get your hands on it too but you're on an Android platform and the app looks very different in the Google store than what it does in the Apple store. Seem like a familiar situation? #ACTNOW and check whether you're using authentic apps created by trusted developers such as Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

  • Password. 123456. Admin. Your birthday. What do these words and numbers have in common? #ACTNOW and check whether you are using any of these passwords. If yes, then change it immediately as these are easy channels for gangs in cyberspace to gain access to everything you've protected with these apparently strong passwords. And it's especially important when you're banking and shopping online. There are tonnes of resources that will allow you to check the strength of a password before you finally use it.

    An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. This applies as much to something as mundane as online shopping too, as to your health. If not, you could see your financial health suffer a serious setback, if you end up getting fleeced.