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Be Aware of Black Friday Bogus

Black Friday is upon us and we’re all excited to jump on the bandwagon and save! Don’t get caught up in the moment and forget about your online safety, Black Friday bogus has become a massive trend in the cyber-criminal world. Online buying doesn’t have to lead to offline crying! Take a few moments to control the chaos and make sure you are not the next target of an online scammer. 

Here are some rules to follow on Black Friday to ensure you are not left dwelling in sorrow:

1) An up-to-date browser is best

Often when a browser is out of date there are some vulnerabilities that have been found by cyber criminals to use to their advantage against you. An up-to-date browser often means vulnerabilities and problems have already been identified and fixed.

2) Read the Privacy Policy

Yes it’s boring, and an eye sore, although it is utterly important! Take a moment to read the Privacy Policy of the website you are using before you make your purchases. This ensures you are aware of where your personal information is being used and how it can be used. This will point out who has access to your data and private information and allows you to make sure that the information being used is relevant to the website and the products being purchased.

3) Keep an eye out for HTTPS

Be sure the website address starts with HTTPS and not just HTTP, or that your address bar turns green. This is called SSL and refers to Secure Sockets Layer encryption and ensures your personal information is encrypted (encoded) and will not be used against you or stolen from you by hackers.

4) If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!

Beware of emails and ad’s that claim to be an unbelievable deal, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. These amazing deals that almost take your breath away are often phishing scams, which is where a cyber criminal uses these types of adverts and emails hoping you’ll take the bait and give away your personal information in exchange for the fake deal.

5) Public Wi-Fi = VPN always

Public Wi-Fi’s have never been safe, they are often not encrypted and not secured at all. It’s therefore always extremely important to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This creates a private network over the public network, thereby encrypting your information and protecting it from hackers and cyber criminals.

6) The stronger your password, the better

It’s always important to create a strong password that is not generic and uses a mixture of numbers, uppercase and  lowercase letters, as well as symbols to ensure your password cannot be guessed by a criminal. Never use your name or surname in a password as many people make the mistake of using their initials, name, surname and birthdate in their passwords, making them extremely easy to figure out. It’s also important to not use the same passwords on multiple accounts as cyber criminals will then have access to more than one account. Make use of a website such as https://passwordsgenerator.net/

Make use of these tips this Black Friday and make sure you don’t let bogus websites stop you from bagging a bargain. Shop until you drop, but NEVER drop your guard!


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