TIPS: Protect yourself from Black Friday hackers

File: The 29-year-old man allegedly took the two-year-old from a trolley while his grandmother was distracted, making a purchase.

File: A Christmas crunch caused more pain for British retailers on Thursday, with John Lewis flagging lower profits for 2019 financial year.

JOHANNESBURG – As great deals are lined up for Black Friday, so too are criminals looking to exploit shoppers.

Many stores are pushing their Black Friday sales online this year to avoid the foot traffic and criminals too have taken note of this.

READ: COMPLETE GUIDE: Black Friday madness in SA

Many tech-savvy consumers are turning to the web hoping to score massive without the shop floor tussle.

READ: Black Friday: A survival guide

Here are five tips to ensure your Black Friday isn’t black due to fraud:

Know if your account is compromised

You can download tools like’s breach investigation, which will come in handy if your account is ever compromised. The app is ideal for identifying identity theft and early detection is key to prevent such issues.

Keep your identity secret

Your personal information is valuable and can be used to obtain new lines of credit, which could ultimately compromise your credit profile if the wrong person gets their hands on this information. Always ensure you keep these details private and only ever share such details when absolutely certain and necessary, with safety in mind.

Changing your password often is a good way to ensure better security and password generator apps are available online to do this. Where possible, ensure that further authentication takes place.

Educate yourself

No, phishing doesn’t happen in the ocean. Do you truly understand what a phishing attack is and do you know how to protect yourself from it? If not, now would be a good time to educate yourself with the amazing tool we call the internet.

In simple terms, a phishing attack happens when fraudsters claiming to be legitimate organisations try to con you into transacting with them. These attacks can happen on the phone, email, and even SMS, so be sure to do background checks on the said company.

Use secure websites

As a rule of thumb, if the site has a green little lock sign on the top left, then it is safe to use. Don’t take chances with sites you’ve never heard off, this could well be a scam. It is also wise to update your antivirus software to further prevent accessing unsafe websites. NEVER save your payment information on a site.

Use tech wisely

Always be aware of your surroundings when browsing and avoid making purchases in public wifi zones as this could compromise your security.

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