Holiday Shopping Safety Guide: Protect Yourself from Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams

The shopping season has approached, and customers are already planning their holiday splurges for the end of the year. If you are one of those 334 million Americans who are going to be part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you might want to take a glance at your emails and discount links for more details about the retail and e-commerce stores and make a shopping list before the sale.

However, all these moves are frequently being tracked by criminals to get your information and benefit themselves. There are numerous ways that cybercriminals take undue advantage of these rush hours, from spam, and clickbait to duping URLs, and one wrong move may put your valuable information in the wrong hands.

In today’s article, let’s focus on the best practices that customers can use to defend themselves from common cyber threats and other malicious activities.

Check Twice Before Giving Out Credit Card Information

Credit card information can be stolen in several ways by cybercriminals during this festive season.

Here are a few things you must check before giving your credit card information:

Read for customer reviews and double-check the URL before making any online payments.

According to global sources, around 65% of users face irregular pop-up purchases while using credit cards or other modes of e-payment. Take note of how much personal information you are providing to any website before checking out.

Don’t Shop on Hotspots

Even though open hotspots are free and easy to use, customers should be aware of safety and security before connecting to the public Wi-Fi network.

Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi networks, like in airports, coffee shops, or shopping malls. Open hotspots are extremely dangerous, as it is the perfect time for hackers to get into your PC, tablet, and mobile devices.

Hackers generally use open hotspots to intercept communications between you and the connection point, so instead of interacting directly with the hotspots, you send your information to the hacker.

It is always recommended to use a VPN (virtual private network) service, which creates a secured and private tunnel between your device and open hotspots.

Gone are those days when you had to stand in long queues to shop and get your billing processes done. Today, times have changed and the last few decades have witnessed a drastic change in the way we shop. Globally, we have entered the world of digitization, where everything from shopping to checking works on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and you can get your package delivered to your home in just a few clicks.

For secure online shopping, you need to simply follow the above best practices that will make your shopping experience stress-free and smooth as butter.

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Cyber Savvy Shopping: Protect Yourself from Black Friday Scams

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent opportunities for customers to get hold of some great deals, while for retailers, it is an outstanding time to clear up their stocks. But, unfortunately, even cybercriminals utilize this time to execute scams and crimes that affect businesses.

According to global collective research in 2022, there is $41 billion in fraud damages reported from the e-commerce industry. However, it is anticipated that by the end of 2023, the loss will surpass $48 billion.

As cyber criminals initiate new routine scams around the time of these events, it is the right time for CISOs and other IT teams to step up their vigilance plan of action to counter such malicious attacks and protect their business as well as the interest of their valued customers.

With the help of this article, we will delve deep into some useful tips to create a secure online shopping experience.

Key Actions for Black Friday Cybersecurity

During such frenzied festive seasons, the CISOs and IT managers should be cautious as threat actors are on their toes to ruin businesses with their scams and deceiving tactics.

So, to prevent such incidents here are four essential key actions you can conduct:

Create a Robust Cybersecurity Plan

Planning a robust cybersecurity plan during events and festivals, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can involve multiple approaches. It has been witnessed that cyber actors are ahead in the game by using tactics like:

Custom site designs for the event or early bird deals to fool customers into clicking on them and impersonating them as your customers.

It has been seen that customers are attracted to clickbait that forces your company to get their sensitive information, like credit or debit card details, addresses, mobile numbers, and many more.

Thus, chalking out the areas where monitoring is needed or what steps and protocols are needed to eliminate these incidents will save you valuable money and resources in turn giving your customers the retail therapy they deserve.

Implement Automated Data Security and Compliance

You need to ensure that your website or application follows all the rules and regulations in terms of data security and compliance.

Implement automated data security and compliance services that scan your network and notify you in real-time of any suspicious activity, which allows you to promptly act before any damage occurs.

Automated solution tools like Scrut, Vanta, Drata, and Tugboat Logic help employees monitor and report threats promptly.

The only standard approach to implement these tools would require adequate routine team training with appropriate knowledge transfer for personnel to operate these tools and defeat cyber criminals ahead of time!

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