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Stay safe this Black Friday with our guide

Posted on Nov 23, 2018.

With so many of us ready to grab as many good deals as we can this Black Friday, it’s important to note the dangers that can be lurking in the midst of the internet.

Black Friday is a Cyber-criminals dream, with over 170 million people shopping online for Black Friday last year. They can disguise fraud with fake deals advertised on fake sites, or sent through on a fake email account. Studies have shown that cyber crime takes up a 3rd of the UK’s overall crime.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) found in their research that 31% of people shopping online during Black Friday are more likely to take a financial risk. In 2016, this resulted in an estimated total of £156 million in e-commerce card fraud. It was predicted this week that Brits could spend up to £10,000 per second on Black Friday alone.

The UK’s national intelligence and security organisation, GCHQ, has issued a warning to shoppers about the threat of cyber crime this Black Friday. So, here’s what you can do today to make sure you’re not the next victim of cyber crime.

  1. Install the latest software and app updates.

  2. Use strong passwords.

  3. Use a password manager.

  4. Use an extra layer of protection such as ‘two-factor authentication’.

  5. Don’t give away too much personal information when purchasing.

  6. Pay by credit card.

  7. Make sure the site is secure (e.g. the web address begins with https). Always type the website into your search bar, don’t click ads.

  8. Beware of “phishy” emails, pretending to be a trusted organisation. Report any suspicious emails or websites.

  9. False freebies on Facebook.

  10. Avoid shopping on public wi-fi.

  11. Don’t fall for the “click and receive” scam.

  12. Customer reviews may weed out poor deals, but watch out for the fakes.

  13. Some deals may be advertised as reduced for Black Friday but the price may not even be cheaper than the product was before.

The NCSC’s Technical Director, Dr Ian Levy, says: “Staying safe online doesn’t require deep technical knowledge, and we want the whole country to know the NCSC speaks the same language as them”.


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