Friday 23rd November 2018 is officially BLACK FRIDAY, but our advice applies for every day online shopping.
Beware of Fake Websites
Hackers create websites that look just like the genuine retailers’ websites. They send emails offering great deals and then steal your account information. Check the URL and domain name carefully to avoid fake websites. Similarly, some hackers will create websites themselves to pose as online stores but may only have a limited amount of stock, one off specials or the quality of the site and content may be less than professional.
Beware of HUGE discounts
Retailers will always offer discounts to entice potential customers to their store but ensure that the discount is realistic. For example, it’s highly unlikely that Nike would offer 50% off a new range of trainers or Apple to discount one of their products dramatically. Hackers use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to push false advertising to potential victims to entice them to visit a malicious website.
Shop on a Secure Website
While shopping online, make sure you are accessing a secure website. Check for “HTTPS” in the browser that encrypts communication and makes browsing secure by preventing attacks. Similarly check for a padlock image within the search bar.
Go with Tried and Tested Retailers
You will find many websites giving huge discounts, but try to only shop on reputable and reliable ecommerce sites. Read customers’ review and check seller ratings to find the best sites for safe online shopping.
Update Your Antivirus Software and Browser
Make sure a firewall is installed on your computer and your antivirus software is up to date. Update your browser as well. Having the latest version is important to prevent online fraud.
Don’t Trust Unknown Links in Your Email
Beware of Phishing emails offering incredible deals. Check the offer by going to the retailer’s website instead of linking on the email link. These links when clicked can download malicious software and ask for personal details. Also check the sender information at the heading of the email to ensure that it has been sent from a realistic business email address (for example not firstname.lastname@example.org)
Avoid Public Computers and Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Shop at home if possible. Public LANs and wireless connections are not safe as hackers can access these networks and can steal your personal information. Using your credit card through open networks can hand your details over to a hacker.
Use Credit Card Instead of Debit Card
Use your credit card for online shopping, not your debit card. Credit cards offer more protection in case something goes wrong with the purchase or someone steals your information.