As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, we wanted to give some pointers for safe online shopping. We want you to take advantage of all the deals you want (trust me, we love a good deal!), but we want to help you do it safely. No deal is worth getting phished, having credit card information stolen, or losing data.
You’ve probably been receiving emails from businesses with information about all their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and deals. Some of those emails are legitimate, but there are probably malicious emails hiding in your inbox too. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are opportunities for phishers to steal information from shoppers. Don’t fall for it! For a more in-depth look at phishing, read our What is Phishing? blog. For now, here are a couple guidelines:
- Inspect the sender’s address. Look for minute changes, typos, misspellings.
- Look at the body of the email. Are there multiple fonts, font sizes, misspellings, grammar errors, etc.? Many times, phishing emails originate from senders who are not native English speakers. Strange syntax or bad grammar can be an indicator of phishing.
- Is the email scattered with links or attachments? They could lead somewhere bad.
Don’t ever send credit card or bank account information in an email or through any non-secure website. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar on your webpage to see if your website is secure.
If you see a deal in an email that you want to take advantage of, play it safe and don’t click links that are in the email. Go to a search engine and find the deal on your own. If the offer is real, you won’t have any trouble finding it.
As always, be on the lookout for phishing and fake websites. We wish you some good deals and safe shopping!