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Don't fall for it! Be vigilant this Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the biggest shopping events of the year. But they also present some of the greatest opportunities for potential thieves and scammers.

Before tapping in your credit card details to grab an online bargain, check these tips for protecting your personal information, and don’t fall for a deal that’s too good to be true.

How’s the security?

On any website where you are entering personal information, especially credit card details, check that it’s secure. A secure or encrypted webpage should feature a padlock next to the left hand side of the URL and start with “https”. If these don’t appear, it might be a sign that the site you are using is not secure. To keep your financial details private you should never share them openly online.

Beware of phishing

Most Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales promotions appear via email marketing. This is an opportunity for scammers to pose as legitimate businesses and financial institutions so they can steal your credentials.

Our latest Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Report revealed that 20 per cent of all data breaches in the last quarter were attributed to phishing. If you are suspicious of an email, avoid clicking any links and go directly to the brand’s website or online store to verify the deal.

Check your transactions and credit report

During a busy shopping period it is important to regularly check your credit card transactions for fraudulent activity. The quicker you spot fraud, the quicker you can protect yourself and your personal information.

If you do notice a fraudulent transaction it’s worth requesting a copy of your credit report. Identity thieves may use your personal information to open credit accounts in your name. Our fact sheet on Fraud and your credit report has more information on what to do if you think you have been a victim of fraud.

Keep your smartphone safe

When out shopping IRL, treat your phone like your wallet and keep it secure at all times. Now that so many transactions are done online, our smartphones are a treasure trove for thieves. Think about how much of your personal information is stored on your phone, and how many services (such as social media) you are always logged in to. Get more advice on protecting your personal information with our Ten tips to protect your privacy.