ESET Black Friday - How to avoid traps

Black Friday is approaching and Cyber ​​Monday is just around the corner, which means that most of us will be on the hunt for the perfect opportunity. And since the pandemic is not over yet, shopping via smartphone, tablet or other connected devices seems to be probably safer than shopping in stores. At least for the coronavirus.

However, online shopping has its own risks.

While online shopping protects you from the coronavirus, if you are not careful you may endanger your device with malware.
Experts from the global cyber security company ESET give three basic tips on how to protect yourself when shopping online these days of discounts.

Away from scams!

The shopping season can usually be full of opportunities especially during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, when shoppers are looking for discounts, but it is also the favorite time of the year for scammers as they bet that consumers will not be careful enough. and will be more gullible. However, one thing that stands the test of time is the oft-repeated rule that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is not.

So, if you come across ads that bother or overwhelm you with pop-up banners with 90% discounts on luxury brands, you should probably avoid them. If you click on these ads, you may be redirected to a phishing website or a fake website that will try to collect your sensitive information, such as online payment data, or install malware on your device - as well as has, the only one who will win will be the scammer.

To avoid scams, your best option is to limit your purchases to legitimate stores and authorized platforms that you can trust.

black friday connect

Connect to secure networks

Once you are shopping online, the first thing you need to check is the right internet connection.
You are probably tempted to do your shopping in your spare time and this sometimes means that you will do it when you are in a cafe or outdoors - however, public Wi-Fi hotspots are not always safe. In other words, when you're connected to public Wi-Fi, try not to make any online transactions that contain sensitive data, such as payment information.

In such a case, your device could be infected by malware or your sensitive data could be stolen. It is better to limit your online shopping to secure and intimate internet connections, so the best thing to do is to use either your phone data plan or connect to your home network.

You should also not neglect the security of your home network. If you have not touched the security settings of your router since its installation, now would be a good time to set it up properly.

However, humans are busy creatures and have chores to do during the day, so they may secretly make some online purchases here and there. So if you still want to do this in a public hotspot, use a virtual private network (VPN) so you can shield your browsing and shop safely.

Secure your device

black friday scams

As you can make a lot of your purchases from your smartphone, just for convenience, its safe use should be self-evident.
However, a significant number of people still believe that their smartphone is just a phone and not a pocket computer, which they carry daily and use it to perform all kinds of tasks.

This means that they underestimate how much personal data is stored on these devices, from photos and personal information to payment cards in their wallets that they use to pay for their shopping.

Therefore, these devices must also be protected. At this point you need a reliable security solution - these protect your device from all kinds of malware, as well as from malicious activities carried out by threat carriers, such as phishing attempts or sending malicious links.

You should also consider enhancing the security of your device by adding lock screens that combine both biometric locks and passwords.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, while you are on the hunt for the best opportunity, you should always be vigilant. Beware of signs that can betray a scam, such as misspelled advertisements and offers of dubious origin that may look like the real thing, but once you look closely you will find that they are fake - the prices may be wrong or the web address may be seems wrong.

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And don't forget to follow other basic cyber-hygiene practices, such as updating your device and operating systems with the latest security updates, protecting your devices with built-in security features and security software, strong passwords, and authentication two factors.
All this can make the festive season even safer and more enjoyable and protect you from a possible headache that can be caused by fraud.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can reduce your chances of being hacked these days by tackling online shopping with a healthy dose of vigilance, enhancing the security of your device, and following the right cyber security habits.

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