Staying Safe Online Whilst Shopping During Black Friday

Stay safe online this Black Friday

Black Friday, the much-anticipated shopping extravaganza, is just around the corner in the UK. With countless online deals and discounts, it’s essential to not only snag those great deals but also to protect your personal and financial information. In this blog, we’ll explore some crucial tips for staying safe online while shopping during Black Friday.  

Shop from Trusted Retailers  

Stick to well-known, reputable retailers when shopping online. Be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true, especially if they come from unfamiliar websites. Check for reviews and ratings to ensure the legitimacy of the retailer.  

Use Secure Websites  

Always make sure that the website you’re shopping on is secure and not just during Black Friday. Look for “https://” in the URL and a padlock symbol in the browser’s address bar. This indicates that the site uses encryption to protect your data during transactions.  

Strong, Unique Passwords  

Avoid using the same password across multiple websites. Create strong, unique passwords for each online store. Consider using a password manager to keep track of your login credentials securely. The NCSC has some good guidance on using passwords here

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)  

Whenever possible, enable multi-factor authentication for your online shopping accounts. MFA adds an extra layer of security, typically requiring a code sent to your mobile device or email to verify your identity.  

Be Wary of Phishing Emails  

Cybercriminals often use Black Friday as an opportunity to send phishing emails, posing as retailers offering incredible deals. Be cautious of unexpected emails and verify their authenticity by visiting the retailer’s website directly, rather than clicking on links in the email.  

Protect Personal Information  

During Black Friday retailers may ask for personal information during the checkout process. Only provide necessary information and avoid sharing more than required. Legitimate websites will not ask for sensitive data via email.  

Review Your Bank Statements  

Regularly monitor your bank and credit card statements to spot any unauthorised or suspicious transactions. Reporting any discrepancies promptly is crucial for minimizing potential damage.  

Public Wi-Fi Caution  

Avoid shopping online using public Wi-Fi networks. These networks are often less secure, making your data vulnerable to interception. Stick to trusted, private networks when making purchases.  

Keep Your Devices Updated  

Ensure your computer, smartphone, and other devices are up-to-date with the latest security patches and software updates. This helps protect against known vulnerabilities. 

Verify Black Friday Deals  

Before making a purchase, compare prices from multiple sources to ensure that the deal is genuinely a good one. This extra step can help you avoid falling for fake discounts.  

Trust Your Instincts  

If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and err on the side of caution. If a deal seems too good to be true, it might be a scam.  

By following these safety tips, you can make the most of Black Friday deals without compromising your online security. Stay vigilant, shop smart, and protect your personal and financial information while enjoying the shopping season.  

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Happy Black Friday shopping!