Be careful when you do online shopping. Picture: Pexels/@karolina.
Be careful when you do online shopping. Picture: Pexels/@karolina.

Found a fashion bargain? Top 5 tips to protect yourself from cyber risks this Black Friday

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Nov 19, 2020

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Black Friday is fast approaching and while you may be eyeing that new outfit that you’re hoping will go on sale, you still need to take precautions.

While it is considered one of the easiest ways to shop, online shopping also carries several cyber risks such as malware, phishing schemes and data hacks.

With the help of Nithen Naidoo, chief executive and Founder of Snode Technologies, below are the top five ways to ensure that your online time is safe and secure online during black Friday weekend:

Look out for HTTPS

When shopping online, check that the URL begins with HTTPS, not just HTTP, or has a little lock icon next to it. It means that the site has security measures in place, ensuring that your browsing is encrypted and safe.

Avoid saving financial info on shopping sites

Websites with SSL verifications can still be hacked. Online stores allow you to save your card information on your profile for future purchases, but if you can access this information, chances are that hackers can, too. It’s better to secure your financial details by removing it completely after purchasing.

Use reputable sites only

When doing your shopping, the safest way is to stick with well-known online retailers with established payment gateways such as PayPal and card payments. Some sites might look legitimate but it could redirect you to a malicious payment gateway – always use reputable payment gateways with the necessary verification and security methods in place. Stay away from retailers requesting wire transfers.

Create strong passwords and change them often

People often use the same simple passwords, which puts your accounts at risk of malicious password-breaking malware. Never use the same online password: if one site gets hacked, your credentials can be used to access other sites. Also, avoid using your name or date of birth as passwords. Aim for strong passwords.

Be wary of sharing your information for marketing purposes

When completing a transaction online, users are often prompted to avail their personal information, such as names and contact details, for marketing purposes. This can be recorded for future purposes. Also, never provide personal information over the phone – no retailer, courier or bank will ever ask for your credit card details, pins or verification codes when shopping online.

Pro tip: Have a budget set aside for shopping and stick to it.

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