5 tips for stay­ing safe shop­ping on­line on Black Fri­day and Cy­ber Mon­day

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

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.

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