5 tips for staying safe shopping online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
AS THE hype around the shopping bonanza of Black Friday and Cyber Monday grows, it’s not just boisterous shoppers you need to protect yourself against. Cyber criminals are lurking online making concentrated attempts to target discount-hungry shoppers.
Black Friday, which falls on November 25 this year, is the day when retailers sell off stock for bargain prices. Cyber Monday follows and refers to the magnitude of deals available to online customers only.
Discounts are usually kept secret until the big day, but you can expect large savings on technology and electrical products such as televisions and laptops.
With the prospect of thousands of deals, online shoppers may not be as careful as they normally would be.
Here are 5 tips for staying cyber-safe on Black Friday: 1. Watch out for fake websites
Fraudsters can easily create websites that look just like official retailers boasting incredible deals. However, once a payment is made, shoppers may find they receive inferior products or those that do not match the description, and that’s if they arrive at all. This often occurs with mobile phones bought online – consumers have reported buying popular models online only for them not to turn up. The quality of fake sites vary – from the very accurate to those littered with grammatical errors. Check the URL of the website. It may look like a close copy of a genuine retailer or may contain a recognisable name, such as Nike. Look out for domain names that end in .net or . o r g. Online shopping is rarely offered by these types of sites. 2. Pay by credit card
Credit cards offer consumers protection if things go wrong with a purchase.
If the goods don’t show up or are faulty, you can get your money back. When buying on eBay, stick to Paypal. Bank transfers are unlikely to be refunded. Be suspicious if a website asks you to make a bank transfer instead of paying by card. 3. Make sure the site is secure Never buy anything from a site that does not have ‘https’ at the start of the URL. The ‘s’ stands for secure. There should also be a green padlock to the left of the browser. Be sure the padlock is not on the page itself – this could suggest a fraudulent site. 4. Beware ‘phishy’ emails Phishing messages are extremely common. They are designed to appear from trusted organisations, such as your bank or familiar retailers, and the aim is to dupe consumers into revealing personal details. These emails may contain links which, when clicked, download malicious software or take users through to a spoofed website where details are requested. As Black Friday approaches, be wary of emails from retailers offering deals or cash prizes. Check the email address and don’t click on any links embedded in the message.