Deal or no deal – what to watch out for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Next story

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas around the corner, many of us will soon be busy juggling a zillion online shopping tabs and decking the halls. The holiday season is a whirlwind of joy and festivities, but it's also prime time for cybercriminals to catch the unsuspecting. Don’t fall for those too-good-to-be-true discounts!

Here are ESET’s top five tips for what to watch out for and how to stay safe this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. Stick to what you know – If you see an offer in a promotional email or an online ad that seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Finding an item immediately from an unrecognised vendor with the best price can be a red flag. If you're unsure about a website, then don't click on the link – head separately to the website of the organisation the sender is claiming to represent, to find out if the offer is legitimate.
  2. Lookalikes and fake websites – Look for the padlock and, on a desktop device, the https:// at the beginning of the website address. These indicate that communication between you and the site is encrypted and any data you send can’t be seen by anyone intercepting the traffic.

  3. Dodgy incoming information – Suspicious texts with malicious links, elaborate phishing emails and fraudulent banking notifications are all techniques used by online scammers. In addition, be wary of threatening messages that try to get you to hand over sensitive information, such as bank details.

  4. Passwords and PINs – It can feel a bit like beating a dead horse, but strong, unique passwords are the foundation of a positive online shopping experience. Avoid creating accounts with retailers unless absolutely necessary, and make sure to use a secure payment method like Apple Pay, Android Pay or PayPal, to avoid linking your primary bank account. You can also take this one step further and enable two-factor authentication where possible, adding an extra layer of security to your transactions.

  5. Software safety first – Keep your devices and operating systems up to date, and have security software installed and fully operational on all devices. Software updates fix known vulnerabilities, so be sure to install them when prompted. Security software products, such as ESET Internet Security or ESET Mobile Security, include extra features like Banking & Payment Protection – these keep you safe while shopping online, which can take the stress out of your shopping spree.