Online shopping security is of the utmost importance and on the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, extreme caution should be at the forefront of the consumers’ minds. According to the South African Banking and Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), consumers should be wary of scams leading up to Black Friday. Fraud will be on the rise around these big shopping days, and cybercriminals replicate e-commerce stores designs and change one letter in the domain that’s not easily noticeable and can, through these fake websites, carry out scams.

Similar to the surge in online scams at the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, cybercriminals take full advantage of opportunities to conduct scams, even a global health pandemic, so Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no different. We have a few cybersecurity tips that you probably already heard of, that will ensure that your sensitive information stays safe when shopping online.   

Black Friday shopping tips 

Don’t click on suspicious links or open attachments from retailers

Don’t click on suspicious-looking promotional links in your email or while visiting other websites. These links nine times out of ten carry malicious malware. If you’re not sure if a link in an email is from the retailer, go directly to their website. Also, don’t open attachments from retailers, retailers don’t attach deals to emails; if you get an email from a retailer with an email attachment then do not download or open it.

Use strong passwords

Strong and complex passwords are the basics of keeping your profile and sensitive information safe when shopping online. Opt for a password manager that helps create complex passwords, stores, and reminds you to change your passwords regularly. Most password managers have a free version available for various devices and browsers. Here are the popular ones you can try.

  • LastPass
  • 1Password
  • Dashlane

Make sure that the sites you visit are secure

Check if a website is safe before making a purchase. Check that the page is encrypted and contains an ‘https’ at the beginning of the URL or check for a lock sign.

Monitor your bank accounts and credit cards

During this peak shopping season, having a full view of your accounts is crucial. Monitor your credit cards and bank accounts closely so you can flag fraudulent transactions in time.

Use reputable retailers

Using legitimate online retailers will save you a lot of hassle; check for customer testimonials, check their ratings and do thorough research if you’re planning on shopping on websites for the first time during this year’s Black Friday.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi when shopping online

Using unsecured public Wi-Fi can make you vulnerable to cybercriminals. If you’re at a public place, it’s safer to shop online using your mobile data.

Keeping these easy tips in mind when shopping on Black Friday and any other day, will lessen the risk of cybercriminals getting hold of your sensitive data. Stay safe this Black Friday and shop up a storm!