Black Friday and Cyber Monday are every early Christmas buyer’s dream. These unofficial holidays are made to save consumers money with fantastic and sometimes unbelievable deals. Because so many people come for these deals in force, though, many hackers also see these holidays as their paydays. Many people can get scammed out of their hard-earned money without even realizing it. When you plan on taking advantage of these sales, it’s always smart to do your research on how to stay safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Keep your Browser Up to Date
One of the best first steps you can take is keeping your browser up to date. Developers are always looking for bugs and vulnerabilities in their software. When a security risk is found, developers will release patches to fix them, keeping you safe.
Check the URL
When you go on a website for an amazing deal, make sure it’s the website you actually want to be on. Scammers can create fake webpages in an effort to take your information. You can check to see if it’s the right website by looking at the URL and seeing if the name is mistyped or has extra letters. It’s also a good idea to check and see if the URL starts with HTTPS or if there is a lock symbol in the bar. Both of these show that the website you plan on putting sensitive information in is safe. Whatever you put in will be encrypted against hackers.
Don’t Trust All the Deals You See
Since this is the season of impossible sales, you’ll likely see many ads and emails showing the deals each retailer has. When a deal that seems almost too good to be true shows up, it can be tempting to click on it immediately. Scammers use these links and emails to steal your information. Some of the more notorious methods to receive these deals is on emails, text messages, and pop-ups. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to refuse to click on these links altogether. It’s a good idea to learn how to avoid these phishing attempts to keep yourself safe.
Keep Login Information Unique
We are all guilty of having a favorite password that we always use. Unfortunately, that password can quickly become a double-edged sword. If hackers manage to get your password, they are likely to try it on different websites to get more of your information. Using different and complex passwords for each of your websites is a great way to protect your information.
Don’t Give Out More Information Than You Need To
Most of the time, retail websites only want your login information and your credit card information. Websites created by hackers may ask for extra information or access that isn’t relevant to what you are doing. If a website asks for your SSN or access to your camera and microphone, it’s probably a good idea to leave it as quickly as possible.
Whether or not you actively participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, having security measures in place during these events is a good idea. Days like these seem to attract hackers and scammers from all over, and keeping yourself safe is essential. By keeping your computer up to date, checking URLs and deals, and keeping your information safe and secure, you decrease your risk of getting attacked. With these security measures in place, you can shop in peace, knowing you are protected.