More than 70% of the population in the United States shops online every day. Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner, millions of people are preparing to spend their money on great deals, including people who are sceptical about online shopping.
In 2019, consumers spent $7.4 billion on Black Friday online sales, while in 2018 they spent around $6.2 billion. Each year these numbers are increasing as more people decide to shop online instead of visiting physical shops.
As much as consumers want to spend money, retailers are also determined to get the most out of the online shopping deals. Some retailers decide to voluntarily “leak”their Black Friday deals before the special day.
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the amazing online deals, as long as you do it safely. Even cybercriminals try to take advantage of the shopping season. That is why we compiled a list of tips on how to safely shop online around the holidays just for you!
One of the most common mistakes that online shoppers make is entering their credit card details on websites that aren’t secured. If the website you visit doesn’t have a little padlock next to the URL, you may want to reconsider entering any sensitive data because your information can be easily recorded.
It’s better to find the same item on a secured website. it may be time to move on to the next website that offers the same product but has a secure connection. Always ensure that the URL of the website you are visiting starts with HTTPS and has a padlock.
An antivirus software program will protect your device from any malicious attacks and will prevent your personal information from being stolen. Investing in antivirus software is a great idea in the long term as it will prevent you from visiting scamming websites, it will filter your emails and will always notify you when a virus is detected.
Registering on many websites as possible while searching for a great online deal might sound like a great idea, but in reality isn’t. If you visit unsecure websites, hackers might try stealing your login details, and use them whenever they want.
In order to prevent this from happening, stop using the same password for all your accounts. Instead, use a password manager or write down all your passwords in a notebook. Half the people living in the U.S. use the same password on multiple websites. This means that if one of these websites gets hacked, hackers will be able to gain access to your other accounts. If you use different passwords, that will not happen.
IT security experts are always updating the products they developed in order to make your products better and patch any vulnerabilities. So, next time you get a notification about a software update, don’t ignore it. Take your time and update your software.
Scammers also use emails in order to trick recipients into entering their personal information in unsecure websites. If you receive a Black Friday deal in an email that rushes you to buy something at an amazing price, but you do not recognize the email sender, just ignore the email, don’t even open it. If you open it by mistake, avoid clicking on any links inside.
If it’s holiday season for you, it doesn’t mean that the hackers are taking their time off. In fact, the time around Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the best times for them to try and steal your hard earned money.
Public WiFi networks are free, but they aren’t safe at all. If you connect to a public WiFi network, avoid online shopping and entering your credit card details. Every person with average IT knowledge can track your online activities, and even record everything that you type, including credit card details, social security numbers, passwords, etc.
If you want to have a secure connection when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi, first connect to a VPN. This will protect your online activities and hackers won’t be able to steal your data.
When using a credit card, hackers might steal money from your account. Even though it might be hard to claim it back, most credit card companies have insurance. If you become a cybercrime victim, the credit card company may reimburse you. However, this isn’t a chance you want to take. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Black Friday is just around the corner. Be careful when you are searching for sweet deals and buying gifts for your family and friends and protect your devices. Just follow the tips above and you will enjoy shopping online.
After all, we all deserve shopping therapy and now it’s the perfect time to do it, but carefully.