We are fast approaching the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the anticipation is building. Retailers are pulling out all the stops and offering massive deals; that means substantial savings for customers.

This year’s Black Friday comes amidst a global health pandemic that ushered in a surge in internet usagesocial distancing and resulted in increased online shopping numbers. Many people aren’t comfortable with venturing to public spaces yet, and online shopping is the safest way to take advantage of the deals in the comfort of your home.

Online shopping also carries some risk; viruses, stolen credit card details and identity theft, to name a few. We’re giving you five online shopping safety hacks that you can use this Black Friday to ensure a safe online shopping experience.

5 Online Shopping Safety Tips: 

Shop on secure sites only

Never enter your card details or visit websites that are not secure; doing so puts you at risk of hackers getting ahold of your sensitive information. Browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox will alert you when a website is not secure and recommend you not to visit the site, alternatively here’s how you can tell that a website is safe:

  • Padlock symbol: there should be a padlock sign next to the website address  
  • HTTPS:// in the URL: website address should start with HTTPS:// because the ‘S’ stands for secure
  • Green address bar: the address bar turns green on specific browsers
  • Valid certificate: click on the padlock symbol to make sure that the website’s SSL certificate is valid  

 

Use secure internet connection

Avoid using public networks to shop online. If you’re on the go, use your mobile data instead to shop online. Public networks leave you vulnerable to hackers intercepting your connection and potentially getting hold of your sensitive information.

 

Use strong passwords 

Choose strong passwords and update your passwords regularly. To make choosing high difficulty passwords easier, consider using password managers like LastPass1Password and Dashlane. You can use these password managers on desktop and your mobile device to:

  • Generate passwords with a high level of difficulty
  • Store passwords

 

Don’t click on unknown links or pop-ups

Avoid clicking on unknown links and pop-ups, and visit the website directly if you don’t recognize the link. It is highly likely that pop-ups and unknown links are malware and phishing attempts.

 

Keep track of your bank statements 

It’s essential to have a full view of your transactions so you can identify a fraudulent transaction and flag it right away with your bank.

If you suspect that your card details have been used fraudulently, cancel the card immediately on your banking app and contact your bank right away.