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Bob’s Top Tips for This Year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday

26 November, 2020

Black Friday is here, and this year, it’s going 100% virtual.


Whilst the deals might be better than ever, the Coronavirus pandemic has meant cybercriminals have stepped up their scams ahead of the busiest weekend of online shopping this year.


Record numbers of us are expected to be shopping online during both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and without care, it can quickly become a minefield for all but cybercriminals.


With cyber-attacks becoming more sophisticated and more frequent this year already, we want to provide you with some tips on ensuring a safe and successful day of shopping.


That’s why we’re stepping up to help empower you to be vigilant online, here are our top tips.


Don't get caught on dodgy domains.


Fake, quickly assembled websites are a classic tool of fraudsters and a vital tool for duping customers into handing over their details. However, they can be spotted. Here’s what to look out for.


  • Websites with familiar names, but unfamiliar domains, like .org, .biz or .co
  • Blurry or pixelated images
  • Unusual or incorrect site addresses, like amazong.com
  • Poor spelling & grammar
  • Unsecured connections

By keeping an eye out for these elements, you can avoid shady websites.


Look for good deals, not impossible deals.


As the old saying goes, 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is'.


Cybercriminals like to play on our deal hunting instincts, especially when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be aware that whilst crazy deals are tempting; they might not be real.


Rather than following your instinct to click, do your own research, do a google search for reviews, compare the deal to others around the web and find the real deal yourself.


Perfect your passwords.


We're sure you've heard us talk about passwords many times before (after all, we’ve got a whole blog about how to make the perfect one) but creating a robust and unique password is the easiest way to protecting yourself from cybercriminals.


If you don’t have time to read our full blog, here are some tips on creating a perfect password;


  • Use a collection of random but memorable words
  • Never use a password that's easy to guess, or based on keyboard patterns
  • Always use unique passwords for every service
  • Enable two-factor authentication if supported
  • Use a password manager to save your passwords automatically

Be wary of social media scams.


As shopping through social media rises, so do social media scams. Cybercriminals leverage the popularity of social media to lull people into confidence regarding deals and offers which don’t stand up to scrutiny.


Be careful when clicking and following links on social media, as you may be directed to fake websites that will encourage you to enter personal details. From there, it’s easy for fraudsters to steal your money or commit identity fraud.


Another major social media threat you should look out for are posts which encourage users to like or share their posts (gaining a wider audience), as these lend legitimacy to fraudsters who later use the profiles to propagate scams.


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