Tech

Black Friday 2015: How To Avoid The Scammers

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As Black Friday sales continue to soar online, cybersecurity experts have been quick to warn customers of scammers looking to capitalise on eager shoppers getting in on last-minute deals.

A cybersecurity consultant from Trend Micro told the Huffington Post UK that consumers should be aware of fake emails and websites containing malware designed to steal personal information.

Bharat Mistry said: “Staying safe online can be more challenging these days as cyber criminals are becoming much more sophisticated with their activities."

Websites laden with offers have shown record-breaking sales today with retailers such as Currys and PC World reporting a surge in web traffic, totalling at eight online sales per second.

There are no signs of this boom busting anytime soon, with forecasts for online sales expected to reach £1.07 billion this year.

So while we clearly love shopping from the comfort of our homes, how do we protect ourselves from scammers?

Bharat Mistry, of Trend Micro told HuffPost: "In order for consumers to check the legitimacy of a retailer’s website, they can check the URL through promotional materials or social media profiles.

"Ensure that any transactions made are safely encoded with a HTTPS link in the URL and keep your Internet security software up to date – so any viruses or malware can be captured and removed straight away."

Here are five quick tips to keep in mind as you continue with your Black Friday bonanza:

  • Read the contents of offer e-mails and view their source (typically the source domain will be slightly different to the legitimate domain)
  • Do not click on links blindly in emails
  • Go to the online retailers website (type the URL directly in the browser window)
  • Ensure anti-virus and security software is up-to-date

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