What is Black Friday and how can I stay safe online?

21.11.2022

Black Friday is a global shopping day that takes place every autumn, having originated in the US as a follow-up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Unmatched outside of Singles Day in China for raw consumer spending, Black Friday is one of the largest shopping events in the world. It’s no longer limited to just one ‘day’, with Cyber Monday taking place the following Monday. Retailers everywhere offer significant discounts to consumers looking to get a bargain in the run up to the busy Christmas shopping period.

While it’s great to be able to grab a deal, a large event like this offers scammers numerous opportunities to attempt to part you from your hard-earned cash. So, in the run up to the big day, we’re exploring how to shop online and stay safe this Black Friday.

 

Check reviews

When online it’s important to choose where you to shop carefully. We’d advise always shopping with reputable and branded retailers who you recognise. If you don’t recognise the name of the store online, check review sites to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

 

Be careful when sharing data

Make sure to protect your personal data. Only ever provide enough information for the current transaction never more. Never give your credit card PIN number to anyone online, even a retailer.  And keep you data secure. It’s not recommended to register your credit card with a retailer, even if it can feel laborious to re-enter the details for each transaction.

 

Beware of email sales

While many retailers will have email marketing campaigns for Black Friday, it’s worth considering whether those emailing you should have your email address. Have you shopped with them before, or signed up to their newsletter? Either way,, double check the email address to check for spelling errors or anything out of place. Also never use a link that has been emailed to you to pay for something. This is a classic method used by scammers in order to gain access to your personal information or account details, or to misdirect your payment.

 

Use a credit card

Make sure you use a credit card where possible when making online payments. Credit cards have built in payment protection schemes that means if a transaction turns out to be fraudulent, you can cancel the transaction not being charged, and the credit card company will do the leg work getting their money back.

 

Be extra cautious

Finally, watch out for suspicious messages, emails or charges on your account. If you’ve recently made a purchase online, you’re at risk of a data or security leak. Check frequently to make sure your details haven’t been stolen.

 

If you are ever charged for a purchase you didn’t make, notice any suspicious activity, or feel that you may have had your data stolen, report the incident to your bank immediately. They can cancel or freeze your cards, stopping malicious actors from running up large charges on your accounts, and limiting the damage they can cause.

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