Black-Friday and Covid-19 is a concerning combination

Black Friday is upon us – but the added complication of Covid is causing some shoppers to take unnecessary risks.

Like the ever-marching seasons, it’s quickly approaching that time of year where we all get a little sweaty about what to buy for our loved ones.  Should I get them that box set that everybody is talking about, or should I play it safe with socks?  Whatever we choose, many of us are looking for a bargain.  That’s because, thanks to Covid-19, many of us are having to tighten our financial belts as redundancies, lay-offs and store closures hit hard.

And that’s where issues begin to arise.  As the belts begin to tighten, so do our desires to grab that bargain – after all, we still want to treat the ones we love, right, especially after the year we’ve all had?  Indeed, many of us intend to do more shopping online this year than ever before, with around 60% of those asked in a recent survey by Kaspersky saying they intend to do most or all of their Christmas shopping online this year and around 34% will leave their shopping right up until the last minute, in the hopes of securing a bigger discount.

However, hidden rummaging through the bargain bin might leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth, as some sites may hide nasties such as malware or phishing links – indeed, only 29% of those surveyed were aware of the potential security risks of unknown brands offering large online discounts.

So, if that’s the case – how can you stay safe (and grab that elusive bargain!) whilst shopping online this Black Friday and holiday season?  There are four simple steps you can take to minimise your shopping worries:

  1. Only shop with legitimate online stores.  This also includes smaller online stores!  If you’re not sure about a store, check review sites, social media or give them a call!
  2. Verify any discounts you receive.
  3. Complete purchases through secure payment sites (check for the padlock!) using methods that allow you some peace of mind like a credit card.
  4. Secure your online account passwords with the use of a password manager and keep your devices up to date with security software updates.