Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are finally here. Retailers and shoppers are now gearing up for the busiest shopping weekends.
Unfortunately, too much online spending also attracts cybercriminals a great deal. They take advantage of your lack of cybersecurity knowledge among users by trapping them in their online scams.
Last year, 63% of malware attacks were recorded during Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you need to watch out for any possible cyberattack during this year as well.
Here are some important cyber safety tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday that you should know:
1. Use a VPN for Browsing Websites
Whenever you browse the internet on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, make sure you have a VPN turned ON all the time.
A VPN or better known as Virtual Private Network is an online security app that encrypts your internet traffic while you browse the internet.
Not only that, it also keeps your device safe from all kinds of malware and viruses. If you accidentally visited a website that is corrupted with malware and advertisements, you will stay protected with the help of a VPN.
Even top VPN brands are promoting the use of VPNs this Black Friday and Cyber Monday by offering great discounts. You might want to look at the best VPN deals in 2020 for Black Friday to pick a VPN that fulfills your needs.
2. Do Not Fall for Fake Websites
This is one of the most common scams for Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can fall for. Cybercriminals can easily trick consumers into buying from their website because they do a great job in cloning websites.
They even create a similar website name and trick users into thinking they are shopping on a legitimate website.
It may look like a clone website but there will be subtle changes like some of the functions of a website will not work properly or you may see images that are pixelated, and some of the basic details that you don’t want to miss.
Oftentimes the website name is the same but it either ends on .org or .net or something like that. It is better to double-check the web URL to confirm its authenticity.
3. Only Use HTTPS Secure Websites
Before you start providing your information to the website, make sure it is a secure website by checking their web address. You need to hover the mouse over the URL and check its validity.
You need to check whether the URL starts from HTTPS or not. The ‘S’ in the end indicates that the web address has been encrypted and secured.
Any website without HTTPS can be considered as a threat from cybercriminals because they can easily intercept the data.
If you don’t want to look over each website and check manually, there’s an HTTPS Everywhere extension that you can download on your browser. It will show you which website is safe for browsing and which not.
4. Use Credit Card for Shopping Online
If possible, always make payments through your credit card because it is a safer mode of payment when compared with other methods.
If there’s a fraudulent transaction then there’s a good chance that the bank will reimburse your payment right away.
If you’re using your debit card for payment, then most likely you won’t get your money back and the hacker will definitely be able to clear out every penny there is in your account. There would be no way to claim your money.
5. Avoid Public Wi-Fi to Go Shopping
Make sure you don’t make any Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase through a public Wi-Fi because they’re not secure.
Devices that are connected to public Wi-Fi are easy to hack. The hacker will be able to steal your personal information and private data. Not only that, it would know if you have recently accessed your bank account and will know the credentials.
Not all public Wi-Fi’s are being monitored by hackers but why take a risk when you can purchase those deals from your home network?
Also, if there’s an urgency to use public Wi-Fi, make sure you have a VPN turned on.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are closing in so you better be prepared for all the best deals coming your way but at the same time, all the scams that would try to steal your money.
It is quite possible that you end up paying money to a scam website that was only created for scamming purposes.
The tips that I have mentioned in this guide will help you stay safe online during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
The best approach is to use a VPN at all times while browsing, avoid shopping using public Wi-Fi, use credit cards always, and make sure to distinguish between a fake and a real website before you make a purchase.