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Online Purchasing Safety During Black Friday: Our Survey Results

With so many shoppers planning to stay at home this year, Black Friday promises to be much more of an online event than ever before. Shoppers who have […]

With so many shoppers planning to stay at home this year, Black Friday promises to be much more of an online event than ever before. Shoppers who have grown accustomed to queuing overnight outside the major retail stores to get big discounts on door-busters, will instead be glued to their phones or browsers, waiting for the online sales to begin, or new discounts to be announced throughout the day. Instead of bundling up for a long line, shoppers might want to consider breathing-exercises to stay calm and patient, as the sheer volume of users may make Black Friday 2020 the “day of the great browser refresh.” 

At PSafe, we always look at big online shopping days from a security perspective. With such a huge online shopping event coming this week, we asked users of our dfndr security application to share with us their thoughts and experiences with online shopping– and took a close look at the experience from a safety and data security perspective.  We wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our results, in hope that they might better prepare you for this year’s Black Friday, and the online holiday shopping season in general.Immediately below are a few of the key questions we asked, and the answers we received, along with our commentary and analysis:

See the research in full: click here.

Do you usually shop online on Black Friday?

Yes:  30% 

No: 70%

This result obviously reflects the history of Balck Friday as a “hit the stores for the best deals type of event, but this year, we’re guessing that these numbers will likely be flipped.

Have you ever received inks for a FAKE promotion?

Yes: 67.5%

No: 32.5%

Have you ever fallen for a fake-store scam or fake promotion?

Yes: 49%

No: 51%

Two thirds of respondents have been exposed to fakes and scams, and nearly half of our respondents have been victims of them.  So: the danger is quite real, and yes, this year, we expect Black Friday this year to be a very active day for hackers as well. 

Have you ever felt afraid to shop online?

Yes: 71%

No: 29%

Before making any online purchase, do you do any checking or research to make sure the site is reliable?

Yes: 66%

No: 34%

We combine these responses to show how similar the numbers are, and to show how prevalent apprehension about foul play is when we’re shopping online. We expect that those who do checking are often among those who have been victims before!

Two Keys to Protection

We recommend two important ways to protect yourself while shopping online this Black Friday.  The first are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you’re protecting yourself as much as possible, and the second is a high quality security solution like dfndr security Pro.

Protecting Yourself

Emilio Simoni, Director of Cybersecurity at PSafe’s dfndr lab, emphasizes that the first steps we need to take are practical. “A big part of protecting yourself is simply heightening your awareness at all times for the kinds of interactions scammers initiate,” Simoni explains, “and if at all possible, be even more vigilant on days of high-activity and anticipation, like Black Friday.”  Simoni emphasizes that following a few simple rules can help immensely:

Shop at places and stores that you trust and know. Now is not the time to experiment with a vendor you’ve never heard of who sends you an email with an outrageous deal.

Be wary of email offers, especially when they’re too good to be true. “Part of the hackers arsenal nowadays is leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out),” SImoni notes. “By creating offers that are hugely appealing or impossible to resist, they can pull users into their traps. The excitement that surrounds an occasion like Black Friday can make that easier for hackers.”

If you do choose to go out to shop, protect your phone and valuables. “Real-life” threats like theft are still quite prevalent — so stay aware, and make sure your phone has some kind of anti-theft protection.

Security Solutions: dfndr security Pro

The second key to protecting yourself is to get a good security solution for your phone that keeps an eye out for you automatically. You might want to consider upgrading your dfndr security app (if you haven’t already) to dfndr security Pro.  (This link will help you learn more, and you can use it to download dfndr security Pro if you decide it’s right for you.)

dfndr security Pro offers a full suite of security capabilities that can protect you not only from digital threats, but from everyday thieves as well. 

These are the features dfndr Pro offers to protect you:

Anti-theft protection: Protects against physical loss that leads to data loss: in case of theft or loss of your device, you can lock  it down remotely, find the phone on a map; or, activate a loud alarm to find it nearby. You can also get a picture of the thief, and wipe the phone of your personal data. This is great security to have if you’re heading out to shop in physical locations on Black Friday.

Safe App Installer: Safe App protects you from malware and apps known to have had data breaches — before you install them. This is another great safety check if you’re thinking of downloading any new store or shopping apps for Black Friday.

App Privacy Scan: You can locate on a map where your app data is going and how it might be used by third-parties. You might want to do this with the shopping apps you currently use before you settle in to shop.

Unlimited Identity Theft Reports: These reports provide an “outer-perimeter” defense, looking out for privacy vulnerabilities beyond your own device. These reports reveal if any of your information has been leaked — with a one-click check of a database with over 4 billion compromised credentials. Data breaches don;t stop for the holidays!

Get The Protection You Need Today

We hope that some of the data and solutions we have shared here will help you get ready for a great Black Friday shopping-season. Click here to try dfndr security and put all of these features to work securing your phone, your data, and your digital life. dfndr security offers a full suite of protection, constantly updated, to make sure “you’re safe out there.” 

The benefits of this app will help out all year long, so you’ll be ready to shop again next year when Black Friday rolls along. Just remember that any time there’s a lot of excitement around “big deals” — hackers will be out there trying to take advantage of that mood.  Of course, we hope you get some great deals this year — and we hope we’ve helped you stay safe in the process!

*The dfndr lab, a digital security laboratory managed by PSafe, conducted a survey to discover the habits of online shopping during Black Friday in the United States.  1.434 responses were received from American users of the dfndr security application between November, 12 and November, 16, 2020. The projections were made based on data released by Statista in August 2019 regarding the American population with access to the Internet, which would be 95% of the population in the period.

**PSafe (, the largest private cybersecurity company in Latin America, develops and distributes free mobile protection, performance and privacy solutions for Android and iOS smartphone users. Created in 2011, it currently has more than 300 million installations of its mobile security solutions. PSafe has the largest base of digital threats and attacks in Brazil, which powers its Artificial Intelligence system, capable of detecting new virtual threats in less than 1 second.

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