Top Tips for Cyber Safety on Black Friday
Nov 18 . 3 m
‘Tis The Season
It’s (almost) that time of the year again and it’s safe to say that many of us are already thinking about that gift list. Like all savvy shoppers, you’re probably keeping an eye out for the great deals that will be popping up online around Black Friday. So, if your eyes are on the prize, here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe.
Black Friday Background
While it is not exactly clear where the term ‘Black Friday’ originated, one of the most frequently mentioned stories states that the term was coined by Philadephia police in the 1950s. It would appear that the officers used the term to describe the heavy flow of traffic that characterised the downtown shopping area the Friday after Thanksgiving. Over the years, Black Friday became known as the retail phenomenon that marked the start of holiday shopping in the United States.
Nowadays, Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) have become international occurrences that retailers worldwide utilise to lure shoppers.
Top Safety Tips
We’ve recently talked about the rise of text scams in Ireland and it seems like fraudulent attempts are something that we’ll need to watch out for even during the Black Friday and Christmas period. For instance, shoppers are being warned by Gardai to look out for fraudulent WhatsApp messages. Similarly, shoppers are also being warned to remain vigilant while shopping online during the upcoming period.
Here are some general tips to keep in mind when you’re looking at Black Friday deals this year.
- Fake Websites – This is probably the most important tip to keep in mind. Scammers’ attempts have become increasingly sophisticated and it is easy to believe that you’re buying from a reputable retailer when in reality you’re not. It’s important to look out for the website address, spelling mistakes, or functions that do not work well, apart from doing a little bit of research if you’re concerned about authenticity.
- Phishing Emails – Did you receive an offer that’s too good to be true? It probably isn’t. While it’s normal that retailers will offer special deals for Black Friday, blowout offers along the lines of 80% off warrant additional scrutiny.
- Credit Card vs Debit Card – It’s always a good habit to use a card that is not linked to your banking account as a debit card would be. In the eventuality that you make a purchase of an item from a fraudulent website, scammers won’t have access to your personal details.
- Password Strength – Making sure that you have a strong password that is difficult to decipher can also go a long way to keep your details safe.
- Avoid Public WiFi – Shopping on a public network may leave your personal details exposed, so it’s always a good idea to conduct your shopping on a trusted network.
If you’re planning an epic online shopping spree, you’ll need to make sure that your broadband can keep up with you.
Check out the best broadband deals in Ireland here.