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4 Tips to Shop Safely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Find out how you can protect yourself from cybercriminals.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means the biggest weekend in retail is right behind it.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are considered the Superbowl of shopping deals and the busiest weekend of the year for retailers. Millions of shoppers will get up early to head to stores before dawn or log on in hopes of snagging the best deals for their holiday gifts. Including you!

Last year, Black Friday made up a total of $5 billion in holiday sales and Cyber Monday brought in $6.6 billion. Experts are forecasting a record-breaking $123.4 billion in sales projected for this year.   

The shoppers aren’t the only ones ready to score big, however. Online transactions were up 19% last year during the holiday shopping season, and cybersecurity experts saw a 22% jump in online fraud connected to the increase. Hackers are ready to use a variety of tactics to steal your Christmas and your credit card numbers.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be the Grinch and stay offline during the big shopping sales. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your online identity while bargain hunting on the Internet.

1.AVOID public WiFi when shopping online. Public internet connections are often not secure, and hackers can easily see what you’re doing online and gain access to your personal information. Always use a secure network connection such as your home internet when making online transactions or use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

2. MAKE sure that you don’t leave your device unattended if you are in public such as a table at a restaurant, your shopping cart or anywhere else a thief might have easy access.  It only takes a moment of carelessness for a thief to steal your unattended smartphone or tablet.

3. BEWARE of special offers sent through suspicious emails and SMS.  Hackers often spoof well-known brands in hopes that you will click on phishing links.  If a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a red flag. Instead of clicking links in an email or SMS, go to the store’s website to make a purchase instead.

4. BUY your purchases with a credit card, instead of a debit card. Credit cards are still the safest way to shop online, because fraud protection is swiftly enforced and simple to report. To be extra safe, ensure you don’t save credit card details on retailers websites.  

With hackers ready to take advantage of online shoppers, be smart and download an antiphishing app like dfndr security to ensure you are safe from scams that appear during this time of year. We hope these tips will ensure you’re able to sale hunt with more peace of mind. Have fun out there!