Black Friday could save you hundreds – or even thousands if you plan to go big this 23 November – but make sure your online shopping experience is a safe and stress-free one this year.
We have some really useful tips that you need to read before you start punching in those credit card details at 12.01 on the 23rd.
BEWARE: Hackers and scammers love Black Friday too! We don’t want you to get scammed this Black Friday, so read this before you get your credit card out:
Before 23 November
1. Do a bit of research on the store’s site before you buy. If you don’t know them, investigate the retailer before you buy. Search for the store’s registration number, registered office and telephone number. You can also do a little background check: read other customers’ reviews and learn about the shop’s reputation.
2. Plan ahead and don’t lose your cool. Your head might be spinning at all the great deals in your inbox, but keep a clear head, know what you need, have a list of sites you want to check out
3. Make sure you have secure passwords. Before you enter any details online, make sure your password is a strong one – not your birth date or your child’s name! Include numbers, symbols, punctuation and both upper- and lower-case letters.
4. Have a banking alert set up on your phone. If you don’t have a banking alert sms set up on your phone, there’s time to get it sorted before 23 November.
On the day
4. Shop from home. Avoid using the free wi-fi at your local restaurant or mall if you’re going to be using your credit card. You might be tempted to log on to an online store site while you’re out and EVERYONE is talking about an unmissable deal, but a public network is not a secure one.
5. Rather use your own phone or computer. Also, rather be safe and shop from your own computer or phone. Using someone else’s device could expose you to malware. Make sure that your anti-virus software, operating system, and web browser have the latest security versions installed. It’s important to keep your software updated regularly, as viruses are regularly updated to bypass these security controls.
6. Look out for the padlock. Never buy anything from a site that doesn’t have ‘https’ at the start of the URL. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. There should also be a padlock icon in the address bar at the top, or the status bar at the bottom, depending on the site.
7. Keep track of all your purchases. Print all your orders, receipts, email confirmations and product descriptions to keep ready to use if you spot anything weird. If you do, contact your bank immediately.