Black Friday: Bargain Hunters Beware
Could you spot a deal from a dupe?
In the throes of the Black Friday frenzy, can you spot a bargain from a bogus offer? Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not just days for shoppers to capitalise on deals, but the perfect time for cybercriminals to ramp up their efforts to wittingly dupe those in pursuit of a cut-price purchase.
To help you shop smartly and safely this Black Friday, take a look at the common cybercrime hot spots.
If you’ve spotted a great deal in an email, don’t go through the link provided; open up a browser and type the website in manually, to avoid the risk of being redirected to a phishing site.
Spot the spoof
Fraudulent websites often deceive us by trying to mimic real ones. Whilst some are very convincing, there are often key differences between fake and genuine websites. Spelling anomalies are usually the first sign of a spoof, so make sure you double-check the brand name used in web addresses, as well as logos and fonts associated with retailers.
It might not be at the top of your 'to do' list to switch to the latest web browser, but using an earlier incarnation could make your data vulnerable. Old security standards on previous versions means that any personal information you enter when using an old browser could be easier to access and use for criminal intent.
Keep passwords private
While storing passwords and credit card numbers on a web browser may be convenient, it can also be insecure. If these details become compromised, cybercriminals could access all of your information and start racking up huge bills on your behalf or even steal your identity. Don’t take the option to store them in your browser system and instead keep them safe by using a dedicated, secure app, like Kaspersky Password Manager.
Make sure the web page you are visiting is secure by checking if there is a padlock in the top left-hand corner of the window. This padlock ensures is that no one else can spy on the data you enter. However, it’s not a sign that you can throw caution to the wind completely. Your password can still be stolen by the site itself, if it’s fake – so it’s vital to exercise vigilance.
Watch out for warnings
Security alerts may be annoying, but your device might be trying to tell you that your software needs updating. Keeping your device protected is essential to staying secure while shopping online. To do this effectively, install updates to anti-virus and firewall services as soon as they become available. Ignore anti-virus warnings at your peril.
Too good to be true?
If you find a steep price reduction for a high-value, branded item, then it is highly likely that you will be handing money over in exchange for nothing in return. If your instinct tells you that it looks too good to be true, then you are probably right. While many retailers slash prices for Black Friday, the average discount is estimated to be around 24%.
As you can see, fraudsters can catch you out numerous ways. Our advice here is to help you know the difference between the phonies and the real deals. Stay vigilant when chasing a bargain this Black Friday, and use your common sense to determine if your hard-earned cash and personal information is being put at risk.