Be safe online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. This year it is estimated that shoppers in the UK will spend an enormous £4.5 billion across the weekend and much of that spend will be online. This represents a potential bonanza for cyber criminals so be careful as you hit the internet with your credit cards at the ready.

And we are also gearing up for the big Christmas spend so here are some useful tips to help avoid falling victim to the fraudsters.

  • Whilst this weekend is all about bargains, remember if something seems too much of a good deal it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t exist and the offer may be a ruse to gain your credentials.
  • Phishing emails offering deals abound at this time of the year, don’t click on any links or attachments and go to the website from your browser, if the deal is genuine you should be able to find it.
  • Fraudsters use social media to post links to fictitious websites offering deals, be wary of these even if they have been recommended by someone you know.
  • Always look carefully at the URL of a link, the fraudsters try hard to disguise a fake website by making it look like the genuine one.
  • If you want to buy something from a less well known website do your research, if they are not legitimate you will quickly find out, reads the reviews posted by shoppers who have used the site before.
  • Look for the green padlock symbol and https:// in the address bar. These are indicators of a secure webpage and your details will be transmitted securely.
  • Never give away too much information, if a website requires lots of details before you can make a purchase ask yourself why they need them.
  • Some websites will ask if you want to store your payment details others will ask you to opt out of having them stored. Whilst it is convenient to have your payment information stored on frequently used websites this is a risk and it is recommended that you enter your details each time you make a purchase.
  • Secure Wi-Fi is vital for your privacy. Check that the network you’re using is secure before you make any financial transaction and never assume a public Wi-Fi hotspot is secure.
  • Always ensure that your keep your security software, operating systems and other security measures up to date on your devices.

Have a safe and successful online shopping weekend and remember to check your bank and credit card statements over the next few days to make sure that you are only paying for the goods that you purchased.

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