Black Friday not only brings out the bargain hunters but also the cyber fraudsters. More than 17 million Britons were hit by cybercrime in 2017, and a high percentage will have been targeted over the Black Friday sales period, when the lure of a “too good to be true” bargain turned out to be just that.
Comprehensive online protection – is the most fundamental and effective cyber security solution for Black Friday and every other day. But it’s also important for online shoppers to keep their wits about them and take note of the following tips which you might want to pass onto your customers:
Look out for phishing emails increasing around Black Friday, these usually lead with a tempting offer, to lure the unsuspecting to click through to a webpage and enter personal information. Scammers may also send phishing messages via social media, with links leading to fake pages.
Use trusted websites Buying from trusted vendors on trusted sites removes much of the risk.
Check the site’s security Never buy from a website with a URL which lacks “https” at the start or doesn’t have a green padlock in the browser bar. These signify that data is encrypted for your protection.
Check out the website design An unprofessional-looking website may be operated by a scammer. Even a well-intentioned site owner with a poorly-designed site might have unwittingly left vulnerabilities which will affect users. Multiple pop-ups which won’t close, and difficulty in navigating away from the site, are both warning signs.
Take care on mobiles Mobile devices often show only abbreviated URLS, making it difficult to verify their authenticity or to see where a link will lead. Using public networks also increases exposure to security risks.
Use credit cards Not only do these offer some financial protection but – because they’re not linked to bank accounts as debit cards are – they don’t provide a back door to personal data.