Black Friday 2019: The good, the bag, and the ugly

3 Sep

On Friday 29 November 2019, Black Friday will once again be taking over our lives – even if only for the day! Love it or hate it, like most everyone else, you are probably cautiously waiting for the ‘never to be seen again’ sales and ‘rock-bottom’ deals to hit the online world, but just how safe is it to shop online these days?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Black Friday brings with it a wealth of cybersecurity threats and risks. So, what can you expect and what can you do to ensure that you remain safe while still taking advantage of all the crazy specials on the day?

Consider this – cyberattacks increase by a whopping 60% on Black Friday and increase as the momentum for online shopping leading up to the festive season becomes more frenetic. It stands to reason then that Black Friday has earned itself a reputation as being a cybercriminal’s field day.

Protect Yourself This Black Friday

Here are just a few of the expected risks and threats and how to protect yourself from them:

Fake websites

The consumer’s mindset on Black Friday is to find a good deal, regardless, and that often leads to buying from online stores that they have never heard of before. Keep in mind that opportunistic criminals may create websites offering deals on popular products, but the business doesn’t actually exist.

Make sure that you buy your Black Friday purchases on websites of reliable and trustworthy online vendors. Do your research if you have never heard of a business before and they seem to be offering deals that are just too good to be true – they probably are!

Unsecure checkout points

Not all websites take their security as seriously as they should. When it comes to the payment of your goods, you should only do so if the company offers an encrypted, secure check out process. Check the URL bar for the lock symbol next to the URL. If there is no lock, it is not a secure payment.

Avoid buying goods from unsecure checkout points. This signals an easy way for hackers to gain access to your sensitive card information. To avoid this risk, opt for PayPal payments as the company offers additional security on payments.

Password hacking

This concept might seem a little extreme, but once you have made your purchases, change your passwords and ensure that they are all different and difficult to guess. The last thing you want is a hacker ordering products on your account or getting into your PayPal account.

Free Wi-Fi networks

Only make your Black Friday purchases while on your own secure home or business network. If you find yourself at a coffee shop or somewhere where there is free Wi-Fi available, rather don’t shop online. Your particulars are easy to access when you are using an unsecure network.


While Black Friday seems like a time to throw caution to the wind and buy, buy, buy; shoppers should try to keep their wits about them. Don’t put yourself at risk this Black Friday. Get the deals you want, but do so cautiously and with your data security in mind.

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