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10 Tips For Safe Online Shopping For Black Friday

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I look at the 10 tips given by cybersecurity experts for safe shopping online this Black Friday .

Christmas is fast approaching and there are many deals to be had, which is certainly useful given the cost of living crisis we’re all facing. Previously I’ve looked at saving tips for making DIY gifts at home, but what about when you do want to buy gifts from the shops? I love online shopping, but online shoppers are targeted by hackers and scammers, and it’s important to keep ourselves safe.

Online safety expert Chris Bluvshtein at VPNOverview.com has shared his top ten tips for keeping yourself safe while shopping online this Black Friday. 

Stick to websites you know 

Before you click that tempting link that promises an amazing deal, look at the name. Hackers can use similar names to high-street brands to try trick you into giving up your data. Double check the site is the one you know, and if you have any doubts, don’t go there. Google will also tell you if you’ve visited the site before so it’s worth taking your time and checking for those details. 

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Safe Online Shopping Tips

Check the URL bar 

Every website should have a valid security certificate and you can tell by the little padlock icon next to the URL. If a website doesn’t have one of these then don’t give your bank details or valuable information. 

Check your bank statements 

Get in the habit of checking your bank account and statements regularly. You might not even be aware of your details being stolen until it’s too late, but the earlier you catch it the better. Your bank will have information on any time limits they have for fraudulent purchases, so be sure to keep an eye on your records.

Use a password manager 

The safest thing you can do is use a unique, randomised password for all your accounts. But instead of writing those down on post-it notes or in notebooks, use a password manager to keep them all in one place. Password managers lock your information behind a master password and many of them autofill the website logins for you, keeping you safe from keylogger attacks. 

Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi 

Public Wi-Fi rarely has safety protocols such as passwords in place and hackers can piggyback and steal unsecured banking details. While it’s tempting to do a bit of online shopping on your phone while you’re having a coffee at your local cafe, remember that a public wi-fi connection can be extremely dangerous to use.

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Use mobile payments 

Apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay can protect your banking details so if a website accepts them, it’s best to use them instead of your debit card. 

Use a credit card 

Credit cards also have more protections than debit cards, so if something you’re buying is high value, don’t use your debit card to pay for it. Consumer law in the UK means that with credit cards you could get refunds or claim your money back if your card is stolen.

Set up a temporary bank account 

By opening an online only bank account such as Revolut or Monzo, you can control the amount of money you have access to with transfers from your usual account. This way, even if your details are compromised, the hacker can’t do anything to your real bank account. 

Use a VPN 

A VPN protects your data from prying eyes. Everything you send is encrypted so even if a hacker can see you on a network, they won’t be able to access your sensitive information. VPNs connect you to a remote server and hide your IP, using one along with any of our other tips can make your online shopping super secure. 

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! 

Be careful with any adverts for amazing deals. You might never get the item or there could be hidden dangers. This old saying still rings true with online shopping. 

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