News & Views

Staying cyber-safe on Black Friday

With Christmas just around the corner, online deals and flash sales will start to appear at a rapid rate, especially on Black Friday. During last year’s Black Friday sales the UK accounted for over 10 percent of all Global Black Friday searches online. It will come as no surprise, that this can be a breeding ground for cybercriminals waiting to interrupt transactions and take advantage of the sensitive details of shoppers’ bank accounts. There are various dangers to watch out for before making those impulsive buys it’s important to pay close attention to what scams might pop up, many security breaches are because of human error.

Here are some of the most common cyber security attacks to watch out for this Black Friday:

Phishing

On the lead-up, to Black Friday email marketing campaigns will start infiltrating your inbox but before you click on a link there are a few precautions you should take before reading an email.

Don’t trust a link in an email- Emails tend to be very popular with cybercriminals and often play on human emotions to make you click on a link to gain access to your personal and financial details. Often disguised as retailers’ phishing emails sent can trick an online shopper into clicking on a link, these links can result in you being taken to a site that entices you to type in your login details and steal them, enquiring your payment info, or even funds when you try to place an order through the site. Instead of clicking on a link, it is always best to go directly to the retailer’s website.

Fake websites

This time of year fake websites tend to be very popular with scammers and will most likely be successful in tricking online shoppers into thinking that the site is legitimate. The best way to notice the difference between a real and a copycat site is by paying particular attention to the web pages you are visiting. Are there any spelling mistakes within links or pixilated images? These are telling signs that the website you’re visiting is potentially fake. Always triple-check a URL before clicking on it through an email or text message to make sure it is going to take you to a legitimate site, most retailers and banks will have a web page dedicated to popular scams that occur frequently, and what the legitimate company will and won’t do when communicating with their customers.

Avoid pop-ups

Pop-ups are often a popular way for cybercriminals to spread viruses or malware, especially around seasonal periods, online shoppers tend not to think twice when it comes to deals. Clicking on ads can lead you straight into the hands of a cybercriminal through a malicious browser extensions, and you can end up downloading malware onto your computer or mobile. If you’re still after a deal, go directly to the brand’s website or message them directly to see if the deal is legitimate.

Update your passwords

Now is the time to change your password habits, if you have common passwords like passw0rd, these can be very easy for scammers to guess. Make sure to update your password, using the same passwords can put you at risk of having your personal information stolen. Use strong passwords that are unique to you, it is always advisable to make sure that you’re using two-factor authentication too. If you’re struggling to come up with unique passwords use a password generator. We would also recommend a password manager to ensure that you keep track of passwords.

Check your bank account

When making purchases, make sure to keep a close eye out on your bank statements to check for any suspicious activity, cybercriminals tend to start with unnoticeable smaller amounts of money until they begin to take large amounts.

Social media

Finally, be aware of social media posts, hackers can use social platforms including, Facebook and Twitter, to post malicious links, and entice users to like, click and share their posts resulting in a loss of personal data.

Stay cyber-safe while shopping online this Black Friday to help keep your sensitive data and your finances safe. Do you have any concerns about protecting your website? Speak to one of our consultants to schedule a demo.

 

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