Keeping Safe on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

We all love a bargain but how do you know on Black Friday or Cyber Monday that you will not get more than you “bargained for”?

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two busiest days for shopping on the internet. In 2017 £1.39bn was spent on Black Friday alone which was up 11.7% on the previous year and ahead of the 9% growth forecast (according to IMRG).

So as we all power up our devices for these incredible deals on the 23rd of November how do we keep ourselves and our personal data out of the hands of the cyber criminals?

Here are some tips……..

1. Use strong passwords

We tend to keep the same password for years and use it across multiple sites as otherwise we just can’t remember them all.

It is better to use a passphrase, something that is personal to you that you will remember e.g your favourite nursery rhyme.

Humpty Dumpty Sat On A Wall becomes HdsOAw…..then add your age….say 48.

4HdsOAw8 and there you have a pretty strong password!

There are also many password manager apps which can store & generate passwords in their vault e.g Kaspersky Password manager or Pass Safe.

 

2. Look out for HTTPS

Always make sure that the website is using HTTPS in the URL. This means that the data that is transferred between the web browser and the website you are using is encrypted, preventing anyone in the middle from watching or monitoring your data.

 

3. Limit Personal Identifiable Data

Many websites will ask for more data than is necessary e.g date of birth, phone number.

Only ever put in the minimum that is needed.

 

4. Increase default security settings

You will frequently find many websites security is basic or turned off. Find out what privacy and security options are available and enable them.

If there is the ability to set up two factor authentification then do so. This is a two step security process where a text may be sent to your mobile device with a code you have to input to progress with the process you are trying to complete.

 

5. Have multiple digital identities

It is a good idea to set up multiple email accounts to spread risk and limit having all your eggs in one basket. One can be used for communication, one for subscriptions to newsletters, one for airport or hotel WiFi, one for internet shopping.

 

6. Do not use public WiFi

It is much safer to use your mobile phones network (3G or 4G) than a public WiFi network.

You can disable the “Auto Connect WiFi” or enable the “Ask to join networks” as hackers will use WiFi access points with names like “airport” or “café”.

Never select to remember WiFi networks. If you have a device with a personal hotspot function always use this over public WiFi.

 

7. Use credit cards for payment

Firstly before making any payment make sure that the website is using HTTPS. Use a credit rather than a debit card as you will have protection from the card provider should something go wrong.

Also remember to never make purchases over a public WiFi network.

 

We hope these tips help you to keep safe and use best practice whilst buying on the Internet. Happy Shopping Everyone!