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How to stay safe online during Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with a short week, family time, packed dinner tables comes the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. According to Business Insider, Black Friday originally got its name in 1869 when the stock market crashed. However, the term has become synonymous with shopping. We call it Black Friday because stores go from operating at a loss or being “in the red”, to earning profits or being “in the black”. Since then, the name has stuck and evolved into season long events like Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and so on.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days for great sales and deals, they are also big days for online scams. We’re here to offer tips on how to stay alert when shopping online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Shop on Secure Sites to Avoid Black Friday & Cyber Monday Scams

A general rule of thumb is to stick to secure sites when doing online shopping, but especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re shopping with well-known retailers, it’s likely that their sites are secure. But, if you aren’t sure what a secure site is, let’s get into it. Secure sites help protect you from hackers. These sites use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates and TLS (transport layer security) technology. What does that mean? When you’re on a website look for a small lock icon on the top left corner of your browser bar when you’re on the site. In addition, a secure site will start with HTTPS and not HTTP in the actual URL. 

When you shop on a secure site, you’re able to shop confidently and safely. Businesses that invest in secure websites want to keep their customers’ information secure.

black friday and cyber monday online safety tips

Protect Your Finances

Complete all checkouts with a credit card- not a debit card, which provides direct access to your bank account and finances. If you fall victim to an online shopping scam, and pay with your credit card, the money never actually leaves your account. With a debit card, the money is taken out instantly and can take a while to return while your bank looks into and investigates the matter.  

Another tip- don’t save your credit card information! When you’re asked by a retailer if you would like to save your credit card information for your next purchase, it’s best to decline this option. When you decline it, it reduces the chance of having your card compromised should there be a data breach in the future.

Avoid Shopping on Public WiFi

While shopping online at a coffee shop, or the library, or on public transportation can feel very comfortable and easy, it isn’t always safe. When you shop online in public places, using public Wi-Fi can leave you vulnerable to hackers because they are often unencrypted and unsecured. With a solution like WOT’s WiFi scanning, you’re able to scan the WiFi networks you want to use to ensure absolute safety, and connection.

Make sure to keep yourself protected online when completing your online shopping this holiday season. The holiday season is cheerful, fun, and sprinkled with holiday sales and deals. You can make sure you stay secure online with WOT. Try it today for free.

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