Black Friday is just around the corner. All the shopaholics around the globe are gearing up for availing the best deal for their bucks. People wait for Black Friday the entire year because, on this day, all the retail outlets offer exclusive discount deals, which otherwise are hard to find throughout the year. However, apart from shopping enthusiasts, there is another group of excited individuals eagerly awaiting Black Friday. It is the cyber-criminals.
In order to shop safely this Black Friday and stay protected from malicious scam campaigns, here are some helpful tips.
> Research well: prior to making the payment, you need to make sure whether the website you are shopping from is authentic or not. To do this, you can search on Google, ask from fellow shoppers or your contacts on social media and also analyze feedback of that particular website on security websites. Do check out how long the website has been on public WHOIS record and if the company owning the site has a legit physical address.
> Opt for risk-free payment options: it is a wise strategy to stick to payment options that offer comprehensive protection such as PayPal, which offers a full or partial refund if certain payment options are used. Credit is better than a debit card. Avoid options like sending cheques, wiring money or mailing cash via MoneyGram or Western Union.
> Never Shop from a Public WiFi: you need to perform money transaction while placing your order and therefore, it would be better to use your own secure WiFi network. Using public WiFi isn’t a secure option because anyone can steal your personal or bank details. Prefer using a VPN or a secure browser if possible.
> Always review passwords: it is very important to make sure that your passwords are secure and never use the same password for all online accounts.
> Two-Factor-Authentication should be considered: you must consider enabling two-factor-authentication if your online shopping accounts will remain active for some duration. Currently, Amazon currently offers this feature. This step will only add an extra layer of protection.
> Don’t Be Impulsive buyer: you may feel compelled to clicking on that amazing deal ad and get your hands on the item prior to anyone else but the rule of the thumb is that you must avoid such exceedingly tempting offers. Don’t buy anything before proper research and comparison from other sites.
> Don’t be fooled by doubtful social media links: you will see quite promising offers on social media, which would certainly be too good to be true. Some posts might come from your contacts. Don’t give into to this trick because usually such posts are made when the accounts of your friends have been hijacked by spammers and cyber-criminals.
> Stay away from spam email: this festive season expect your inbox to be flooded with amazing Black Friday deals but you should pay attention to such emails unless you know the sender. Most probably these would be spam emails urging recipients to click on a particular URL or an attachment so that malware could be installed on the device.
> Running an Anti-Virus Scan: do not shop from a computer that isn’t protected with anti-virus software. Also, run anti-virus scan before starting to shop online.