1) Beware of Fake Websites
The most common way cybercriminals fool internet shoppers into falling prey to their Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams is through a fake or copycat websites. They will clone websites to make them look authentic.
The webpage may contain misspelt links, pixilated graphics, poorly written content, and malfunctioning features of the site. Before clicking on any links, be sure the link and the actual destination URL is visible.
Also, verify that the website is safe and secure. Confirm the URL’s legitimacy by hovering your cursor over it. In the URL bar, look for the padlock symbol and make sure the URL starts with ‘HTTPS://’ or ‘SHTTP://’ rather than ‘HTTP://.’ The letter ‘S’ denotes that the webpage has been encrypted and secured using an SSL certificate.
2) Be Cautious About Phishing Emails, Pop-ups and Ads
Phishing is amongst the most common ways for cybercriminals to obtain your personal information. These types of scams are often rampant during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Phishing is one of the easiest ways for criminals to obtain your data without you even knowing because of its speed and simplicity.
Be sceptical of emails offering cash prizes or last-minute offers as Cyber Monday approaches. These emails intend to persuade customers to click on a link that appears to come from a well-known retailer. If you have any doubts about the email, trust your instincts and delete it straight away.
The same goes for Scams on social media that have become more common during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hackers utilise social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as they know that people go online specifically to look for bargains.
Also, Malware and viruses can be spread through pop-ups and advertising. If you click on these harmful adverts, you may be taken to a scam site or have Malware installed on your device.
Because it’s difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate deal and a fake, it’s better to go straight to the brand’s website to see if the deal is genuine.
3) Prefer Credit Cards and Monitor Bank Accounts
When purchasing online, it is usually better to use credit cards rather than debit cards because the former provides more security. If you used your credit card to make a fraudulent transaction, there’s a strong possibility your bank will reimburse your loss.
Major credit card issuers, such as Mastercard, American Express, Visa, and Discover, have “zero liability” policies, which mean you won’t have to pay anything if your card is used fraudulently.
However, if a scam artist obtains your debit card information, they can steal money from your account, and recovering the funds can be difficult.
Throughout the holiday season, keep an eye on your bank accounts to be sure your account doesn’t show any strange activity.
Because Black Friday and Cyber Monday will see extraordinary online activity, fraudsters anticipate that any unexpected debits from a shopper’s account will go undetected.
Criminals frequently start with minor amounts and work their way up to more significant amounts, in some cases, nearly emptying accounts.
4) Ensure Unique, Secure Passwords
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using the same password for many accounts, but this puts your personal information in danger. If a hacker can crack just one password, they could have access to all of your accounts.
As a result, for each online account, it is recommended that you use a unique and strong password.
You can use a password manager to create and remember unique and secure passwords for all of your accounts.
5)Use a Secure Network
When buying online, make sure you browse the internet over a safe internet connection, such as your phone’s cellular network or a private Wi-Fi connection.
However, establishing a network connection on a public Wi-Fi requires no authentication, allowing thieves to obtain direct access to devices on the same open network.
Hackers can use this to steal sensitive information, including login credentials, identities, and financial information.
Finally, make sure all of your security software is up to date before you start looking for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals online. This prevents attackers from exploiting security flaws in older and out-of-date systems to obtain access to your device.
Stay Safe and happy shopping!