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Top tips for navigating Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the much-anticipated, bargain grabbing sales of Black Friday (24 November) and Cyber Monday (27 November).

As you gear up to snag the best deals from the comfort of your home, it's crucial to navigate your online shopping experience with caution.

Here are some essential cyber tips to ensure a safe, secure, and happy online purchasing experience.

1. Use reputable websites:

Stick to well-known and trusted online retailers. Ensure the website is secure by checking for "https://" in the URL and a padlock icon in the address bar. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true on unfamiliar websites.

2. Beware of phishing scams:

Be cautious of unsolicited emails, especially those offering incredible deals or claiming issues with your online accounts. Avoid clicking on suspicious links, and always verify the legitimacy of emails by contacting the retailer directly.

3. Check for secure payment options:

Use secure payment methods, such as credit cards or trusted digital wallets, to protect your financial information. Avoid sharing sensitive details like passwords or PINs and regularly monitor your bank statements for any unauthorised transactions.

4. Set up account alerts

Stay informed about your purchases by setting up notifications for order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery confirmations. This helps you track your packages and detect any unusual activity promptly. Most trustworthy retailers will offer these alerts as part of their service.

5. Secure your devices:

Before diving into the world of online shopping, make sure your devices have updated security software. Regularly update your operating system, antivirus, and anti-malware software to protect against potential cyber threats.

6. Create strong passwords:

Use unique and strong passwords for your online accounts. Consider using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or names. A password management app, such as Bitwarden, will generate and store strong passwords for you.

7. Plan ahead

We also recommend planning ahead to avoid getting too swept up in the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In doing so, you will avoid impulsive purchases and falling foul of any scams.

By following these tips, you can navigate the online shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with confidence. Stay vigilant, prioritise security, and make informed decisions to ensure a happy and stress-free shopping experience.