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Black Friday shopping

Black Friday Shopping and the Dangers to Avoid

23rd November 2023
Black Friday, the annual shopping extravaganza, has long been synonymous with great deals, massive discounts, and holiday shopping. And, in recent years, the rise of online shopping has made Black Friday even more accessible and convenient. But, while online shopping offers numerous advantages, it also comes with its share of dangers, particularly during the Black Friday rush. In this blog post, we'll look at the online dangers you should be aware of when shopping on Black Friday, and how to protect yourself from potential threats.

Phishing Scams

One of the most common online dangers during Black Friday is phishing scams. Scammers send fake emails, text messages, or social media posts that mimic well-known retailers or shipping companies, attempting to lure you into clicking on malicious links or providing personal information. These messages often promise unbelievable deals or claim there's an issue with your order.

How to Stay Safe From Phishing Scams:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages.

  • Verify the sender's email address or domain.

  • Check the website's URL before making a purchase.

  • Contact the retailer directly if you have doubts about a message or offer.

Fake Websites

As the demand for online shopping surges on Black Friday, fraudulent websites pop up, imitating legitimate retailers. These fake websites may sell counterfeit or non-existent products, and your personal and financial information could be at risk.

How to Stay Safe From Fake Websites:

  • Stick to well-known, reputable online retailers.

  • Check for secure website connections (look for "https://" and a padlock symbol in the address bar).

  • Read online reviews and do a quick search to confirm the legitimacy of the website.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a year-round concern, but it becomes particularly alarming during Black Friday. Cybercriminals may attempt to steal your personal and financial information when you make online purchases, potentially leading to financial loss and a damaged credit history.

How to Stay Safe From Identity Theft:

  • Use strong, unique passwords for each online store.

  • Enable two-factor authentication when available.

  • Regularly monitor your credit card and bank statements for suspicious activity.

Overwhelmed Websites

Black Friday often results in a surge in online traffic to retailer websites. This high volume can lead to website crashes or slowdowns, making it challenging to complete your transactions. While not as malicious as the other dangers mentioned, this can be frustrating for shoppers.

How to Stay Safe On Overwhelmed Websites:

  • Shop early or during less congested times if possible.

  • Prepare a list of items and have alternatives in mind.

  • Be patient and avoid refreshing the page repeatedly, as this can contribute to server overload.

Unsolicited Promotions

Receiving an avalanche of promotional emails and text messages during Black Friday is common, but it can be overwhelming and lead to email fatigue. In some cases, these promotions may be unwanted and come from unscrupulous sources.

How to Stay Safe With Unsolicited Promotions:

  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists you're no longer interested in.

  • Use email filters to sort incoming messages.

  • Be cautious when clicking on promotional links in unsolicited emails.

Conclusion

Black Friday is an exciting time for shoppers seeking bargains, but it's important to remain vigilant and take precautions to protect yourself from online dangers.

By being aware of phishing scams, fake websites, identity theft risks, overwhelmed websites, and unsolicited promotions, you can enjoy a safe and secure Black Friday shopping experience.

Remember that your online safety is in your hands, so shop wisely and stay safe!

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