Shop Safely This Black Friday Without Much Effort
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Falling on November 26th this year, it’s just around the corner. And, due to the Covid pandemic still going strong, most people will do the bulk of their shopping online, so it’s key to make sure you shop safely this Black Friday.
While online shopping is extremely convenient, it’s also the perfect environment for online scams and hacker attacks targeting unsuspecting online shoppers. Even if you’re shopping on trusted sites like Amazon or eBay, you could potentially be putting your financial and personal information at risk without even realizing it.
With that in mind, we’ll share with you the five best tips on how you can shop safely this Black Friday by taking simple but effective preventive measures.
Only Shop on HTTPS Sites
The first and simplest thing you can do to make sure you shop safely this Black Friday is to check whether or not the online store you’re shopping at uses HTTPS. Sites that have a URL that starts with HTTPS are safer than those with an HTTP in their URL.
HTTP sites are obsolete, so much so that if you use Google Chrome, they will be marked as “not secure” in the browser. While HTTPS sites can also be potentially dangerous, this is the first step you can take to filter out unsafe sites from those that are likely safe to use.
Maintain Strong Password Practices
There’s a common saying that goes: “Hackers don’t break in, they log in”. This is perfectly logical considering that most online users generally have poor password management processes. Stats show that over a third of online users never change their passwords. Moreover, many of them use generic passwords that could easily be figured out without much effort.
To make sure you’re maintaining strong password practices, you should create lengthy and unique passwords. If this sounds like too much of a hassle, you can use a password manager. Of course, it’s not a foolproof system, but it will help you add more robust security and help you shop safely this Black Friday without encountering any breaches.
Don’t Overshare Your Information
If you’ve already shopped online from legitimate sites, you’ve probably got a feel of what type of information they need to bill you and send the product to you. More specifically, this information includes your billing information, address, name, and contact information. Nothing more is necessary.
So, if a website requires any extensive information, especially if it’s not optional, it’s best to avoid shopping from them. You should never give out your sensitive information like account password or personal ID number just for buying products. Sites that request this type of information are likely going to exploit this information or sell it to the highest bidder.
Avoid Clicking on “Special Offer” Email Links
It’s common for all retailers and online shops to send emails in bulk, bombarding you with special offers or exclusive deals, especially on Black Friday or during the Christmas shopping season. While this is an entirely legitimate marketing technique, some of these emails might be coming from scammers looking to lure you into a phishing scam.
To filter through the real deals from potential scams, you can look at a few telltale signs. Firstly, pay attention to the sender’s credentials. Make sure you closely inspect them. After this, look at the URL to see where the link would send you. Lastly, consider what the promotion requires from you to claim the deal. If you have to give your password or any information that the site should already have, it’s undoubtedly a scam attempt.
Never Shop On Public Wi-Fi
This is one of the critical online privacy and security tips we frequently highlight, and we can’t stress its importance enough. If you can avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi, you should always try to do so.
Although public WI-Fi connections like those in coffee shops, libraries, and airports are convenient if you’re looking for instant access, they are also frequently very insecure. This is because they have poor security features and allow malicious users to connect to the network and steal other users’ valuable information from it.
So, if you were to shop from such a network and share your credit card or bank account credentials, any hacker on the same network would be able to see the information you type in.
If you’re traveling abroad or don’t have any other online access except using public Wi-Fi, make sure you’re securing your connection with a VPN. A VPN will help encrypt your private information and ensure that your banking credentials aren’t visible to anyone on the same network.
At ZoogVPN, we offer you a top-quality VPN service at some of the best prices in the industry. Get ZoogVPN and secure your private information this holiday season and make sure you shop safely this Black Friday.