Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner, falling on November 26 and 29, 2021, respectively. This weekend is a great time for shoppers as many deals and discounts are available during this time. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many prefer to shop online and stay safe at home, which is something we recommend too.
Here are a few tips for a safer Black Friday shopping experience.
1. Use a VPN for Online Shopping
We recommend using a VPN when it comes to online shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A VPN is an important anonymity tool that will encrypt your connection and route your traffic through one of its secure global servers. Without a VPN, you can access websites and shop online, but your data may not be safe. Your ISP is more likely to track your online activities and shopping history and sell your personal data to third parties like advertisers. By using a VPN, you can prevent this from happening as this anonymity tool will hide your IP address and prevent third parties from seeing what you do online.
2. Shop Only From Trustworthy Shopping Websites
Not all websites on the internet are trustworthy and reliable. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday, make sure you do not fall prey to online fraud by shopping on fraudulent websites. The best thing you can do is to shop from websites you have already shopped from in the past. Make sure you do not get carried away by offers and discounts from fake websites. If you come across attractive offers, but if the website does not seem familiar and reliable, we recommend checking Google reviews written by customers who have already purchased from the site in the past. Yelp and Trustpilot review will help, as well.
Social media accounts of the website will also give a clear picture of the website from which you are about to purchase. You can ensure whether the site is legitimate by checking out the website’s Facebook or Twitter profiles.
3. Check Website’s SSL Certificate
Before you make your purchase, you can check if the website is secured. Having an SSL certificate means the website is secured. If the website’s address begins with HTTPS, it means the website is secured with an SSL certificate. Similarly, the padlock icon on the left side of the URL signifies that the website is secure.
Web browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc., display warning messages and notifications when you visit an insecure website. If you see a warning message, make sure you leave the website immediately and do not make a purchase from such a website.
VPN services like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark VPN, etc., offer browser extensions. You can use one such VPNs for additional security. By using a VPN browser extension, you can secure your online activities.
4. Stay Away From Public WiFi Networks for Online Shopping
You can find public WiFi networks in airports, hotels, cafes, etc. Such WiFi networks are considered insecure as hackers can easily use such WiFi networks to distribute malware. To stay secure while using a public WiFi network, make sure you use a VPN. Click here to read how a VPN can protect you on a public WiFi network
5. Use Strong Passwords
You might have accounts with retailers online like Amazon. For your existing accounts and your new accounts, make sure you create strong passwords that are not easy to guess. You can use special characters, numbers, and upper and lowercase letters in your passwords to make them unguessable. Create passwords that are lengthy and are meaningless and make sure you never reuse your passwords across other websites.
6. Do Not Click on Ads and Pop-Ups
You might have noticed pop-ups and ads on certain websites. Most of these ads and pop-ups are placed by hackers to lure you. These pop-ups might display exciting offers, but clicking on these ads or pop-ups could take you to a spammy website. Most of these ads are used by hackers to spread malware. By clicking on such pop-ups, you might unknowingly download malware on your phone or computer. You may not be able to differentiate between a fake deal and a real one, so the best thing you can do is to avoid clicking on pop-ups and ads.
7. Avoid Using Debit Cards and Use Credit Cards
Credit cards are recommended over debit cards for online shopping for added protection. Credit companies like American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover do not require their users to pay for fraudulent transactions. Most of them reimburse their customers if they happen to make a fraudulent purchase accidentally. On the other hand, when you use a debit card and if a hacker gains access to your card number, PIN, etc., they can easily steal money from your bank account. It is quite impossible to get that money back. So it is wise to use a credit card while shopping online.
Black Friday Deals on Top VPNs
While you may get amazing deals and discounts this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could also be scammed. Beware of the dangers online to shop securely this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As mentioned above, make sure to check out reviews online before you make a purchase. Using a VPN is one of the best ways to stay secure while shopping online. We hope you have an amazing and the most rewarding shopping experience this Black Friday.