Keep your data safe in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are the official kick-off for the holiday shopping season. With the huge numbers expected to get online and snap up some incredible bargains, these two epic online shopping sales days are seen as an opportunity to hackers and cybercriminals. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales open the door for hackers and cybercriminals to exploit online shoppers by stealing confidential data, including banking and shipping information. It is vital that both, retailers and consumers, understand the Black Friday cybersecurity risks faced when the masses go online to score a great deal.
What are the risks?
Last year, Forbes highlighted that over 165 million shoppers hit the internet for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and racked up billions in revenue for retailers. This year, it is estimated that the number of shoppers will increase. With billions of pounds being splashed out throughout the sales, we need to stay alert to the Black Friday cybersecurity risks and not get sucked into an unsafe deal.
Hackers and cybercriminals are mostly driven by financial motivation, so huge online shopping days such as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are seen as a big opportunity. Retailers work to keep their websites safe and secure, but sometimes, it isn’t enough. With ecommerce giants, including eBay, falling victim to security breaches in the past, it is safe to say that sometimes even the kings of online shopping aren’t safe.
What to look out for?
Don’t get sucked into an email scam
A lot of retailers will be sending emails promoting their exclusive Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. These emails will highlight special deals and the bargains that can be had in-store and online. As consumers, it is important to take precaution when clicking through to a website. If you get an email from an unknown company or a company that you did not subscribe to, delete it and stay safe from a potential Black Friday cybersecurity risk.
Remember, if an email deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, take precaution. If you want to score a great deal that seems unbelievably good, then manually go to the website and search for that deal rather then clicking through on an email.
Make sure you buy from secure sources
Be aware of the websites you buy from and only enjoy the sales on websites you know and trust! An insecure website is an easy lead for hackers, as it allows them to simply install software that steals personal information. This can include anything from your name, address, contact information and event payment information. Be sure you don’t trust an insecure website, because, in the end, you will not snag a bargain but instead open yourself to potential Black Friday cybersecurity risks.
Use secure payment methods
As we rely more and more on credit cards for everyday transactions, it is essential that you purchase any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals through secure payment systems. With the option to use a 3rd party payment solution, including PayPal and Strips, on most retailers, there is no excuse not to.
Using a secure payment system, such as PayPal or Stripe, allows your data to be securely encrypted, making it harder for cybercriminals to steal.
Keep your shoppers safe
Global online events such as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales often open doors to hackers or cybercriminals. The huge volumes of traffic often overwork secure platforms, which can result in websites crashing or weakening. For retailers and consumers, the risks must be understood and recognised. To reduce the risk of hackers accessing data, retailers need to take care of the data gathered and stored. This includes unused, unwanted or redundant data.