How to be safer while shopping online this Black Friday

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Black Friday arrives tomorrow and while many folks will likely use a webpage to avoid being crushed by the crowds of people at brick and mortar stores, there are still dangers you need to account for.

This year more than ever cybercrime should be front of mind what with ransomware, data leaks and data breaches happening seemingly every month.

For that reason we’ve compiled a few tips to keep you safer while doing your online shopping.

Install a security solution

Truth be told you should have a security solution installed already but if you haven’t now is the time.

While an anti-virus or internet protection isn’t bullet-proof it can help mitigate any damage that could be done. For instance, clicking a dodgy link could prompt a malware download. Without an anti-virus you could miss that entirely but a good security solution will warn you that a site may not be safe.

Check your links

Speaking of dodgy links be sure to double check links in emails before you click them.

Hover over the link in your email/browser and look at where the link is directing you. Something we often do here at is ignore the link entirely and head straight to the website. That way we’re sure we aren’t being redirected to a mirrored site where your financial information is at risk.

Domain squatting in the form of typosquatting where one or two characters in a name are changed to make a site seem legitimate are also common at this time of year so be sure to scrutinise every link you intend on clicking.

If it looks too good to be true, run

Cybercriminals are waiting for internet denizens to show a moment of weakness and this can often be presented as a sizeable discount on an item that usually costs a truckload.

“It’s common knowledge that though there are some great deals to be had over Black Friday, most products are cheaper or the same price at other times of year, so it’s unlikely you’ll find the deal of a lifetime,” explains senior security advisor at Sophos John Shier.

If you do think that your online retailer of choice is selling an Xbox One X for 99% off (as an aside nobody will be doing this), rather visit the website directly.

When creating an account create a secure password

The website is legitimate, the deal is real and now all you need to do is actually buy your dream item.

Many online retailers will insist that you set up an account and when you do that make sure that you use a unique password that adheres to best practices.

Above all else if something seems dodgy ask somebody,

[Image – CC 0 Public Domain Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.