With Black Friday on the horizon, it won’t be too long before shoppers and bargain hunters rush to grab the best deals and discounts on their favorite items. However, while it’s a great day to slash out your money on appliances, gadgets, Christmas gifts, etc. there are also certain risks involved if you participate.
After all, Black Friday presents the perfect opportunity for scammers and identity thieves to target you for your personal information, such as credit card numbers. Fortunately, there are few basic measures that can be taken to protect yourself when browsing the web for bargains that interest you. So, let’s take a closer look:
1. Use a Virtual Private Network
The most important part of shopping online is securing your online transactions. That’s because without adequate protection, cybercriminals can easily intercept the sensitive data being transferred from your device and use it to engage in illicit activities like identity theft.
By equipping yourself with a robust VPN like PureVPN, you can encrypt your entire Internet connection from end-to-end with AES (256-bit). This means that nobody will be able to pry into your online transactions – even if they’re made on public Wi-Fi networks!
Plus, PureVPN itself offers awesome Black Friday discounts, which have come to serve as a benchmark for other VPN providers operating in the VPN industry.
2. Don’t Respond to Suspicious Emails
Since your inbox is most likely going to be flooded with countless emails on Black Friday, cybercriminals will attempt to get their hands on your information through specially designed emails which appear to be sent from “authentic” sources like financial providers or shopping brands.
These emails, basically, trick you into revealing your financial information and sometimes even unleash malware, viruses and trackers on your device. Therefore, make sure to avoid clicking any links or attachments included in emails and verify the deal by visiting the provider’s or brand’s site directly.
3. Stick to Trusted Websites
A no-brainer indeed, but its importance can’t be overstated as we tend to overlook that websites might not be trustworthy if they’re offering something too good to be true. So, if you’ve been relying on certain companies throughout the year, a good rule of thumb would be to use them once again.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use smaller websites. However, you should only do so until you’re absolutely sure of their legitimacy. Moreover, even though some products/services may be exclusive to a certain business, they still could be selling stock via Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.
4. Double-Check Before Downloading Apps
Cybercriminals leave no stone unturned when it comes to scooping up information about you without your consent, and so they continually come up with new ways to do the same. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that dozens of fake shopping apps popup on Black Friday.
They may look like the real deal, but that’s the way they’re designed. For this reason, it’s important to double check before downloading any apps for Black Friday shopping. Watch out for typos in the app name, across the page, and in the user reviews (which are usually in low number).
5. Keep Track of Your Balances
Cybercriminals also count on you making mistakes like not being vigilant to get away with your hard-earned money. Hence, you should keep a close eye on your account balances for unauthorized deposits or charges.
Whether it’s a credit, checking, savings, or any other account, quickly check it every now and then no matter how busy you’re in the day. Also, setting up an email or text alert can make it easier to keep track of your balances.
Happy Online Shopping!
And that’s about it. By applying these basic measures, you’ll be able to shop for your favorite items on Black Friday whilst staying safe against threats to your sensitive information. Happy shopping folks!