Six tips to shop safely on Black Friday

Effective security measures are vital

Credit: Dreamstime

With Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales fast approaching, and Christmas only a month away, cyber criminals are now on the lookout for opportunities to compromise transactions and steal Australians’ data. 

While most major retailers make every effort to ensure effective security, there are a few things consumers can do to ensure financial security when online shopping.

Leading cyber security company, CrowdStrike, issued six key tips for staying secure: 

  1. When making online purchases, ensure you are using a patched system with an up-to-date operating system and browser. Malware can intercept account information by targeting software such as browsers. 
  2. Use different passwords and multi-factor authentication for all accounts to protect against common criminal tactics such as password spraying. Password safe utilities vastly improve online security, making it possible to create complex and unique passwords and not have to remember them. 
  3. Closely monitor account statements for any irregular activity. This is especially important during this peak shopping period when fraudulent transactions might go unnoticed. 
  4. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi at all costs. The lack of encryption means cyber criminals can steal your data and financial information quicker than a flash sale.
  5. Beware of themed phishing scams. Always double check emails, SMS or social messages for any suspicious links. Hackers often impersonate a legitimate organisation and offer fake coupons or rewards to entice the recipient to open a malicious URL. 
  6. Avoid using debit cards to conduct transactions. When a fraudulent charge is identified on a credit card, payment can be deferred until the situation is resolved. If the payment involves a debit card, the money in the account is not replaced until after the resolution.

If you keep these tips in mind and use your commonsense then the chances of something happening are lowered. Happy shopping!

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By Mike Gee

PC World
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