Support: (615) 499-7801

10 tips to stay secure when shopping on Black Friday (and the rest of the year!)

2020 Black Friday tips from ImageQuest

Black Friday is upon us – and with it, the traditional bonanza of people shopping online. Both retailers and fraudsters stand ready to grab your log-in information, your email, your home address, phone number – and of course, your credit card information.

It’s a bonanza for identity thieves.

Numerous reports say cyber criminals are poised to take advantage of the home worker’s extra distractions and maybe lower security. They’ve been sending ransomware to hospitals during COVID surges – so you can assume they’ll see you as a sucker whose info can be stolen.

Don’t let your guard down when finding gift solutions for your friends and loved ones. Be extra alert for fake shopping sites, bogus retailer sites, and email offerings and coupons that don’t actually track back to the retailer you think is offering the deals.

Follow the advice below, and you’ll avoid supplying criminals with your information.

  1. Always type in the retailer’s address yourself.
  2. Check the address of the e-commerce site for extra letters or numbers indicating the site is a fake or a “spoof.”
  3. Watch out for emails offering crazy Black Friday deals. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  4. Use fully updated mobile shopping apps.
  5. Don’t save your card details on e-commerce sites. (We’ve told you this before!)
  6. Register for additional security that sends a One Time Pin or Password (OTP) to your phone when making a payment.
  7. Be wary of unfamiliar e-commerce sites, even if the offers seem amazing.
  8. Never click on unknown links in emails, or open email attachments from unknown sources.
  9. Check for subtle clues – such as spelling errors or non-conforming sender URLs – that may indicate the retailer email is actually from an imposter. 
  10. Never forward emails that may contain malicious attachments or links.

Remember: 2020 has been bad enough. Don’t make it worse by falling for an online scam!