5 Tips To Stay Safe Online
Where "once upon a time" Halloween and Black Friday were prevailing solely across the pond, the UK has now thoroughly embraced both. We’ve survived the marketing hype of October 31st only to be thrust into the jungle of online and in store Black Friday deals.
There will be some great bargains to be had out there, and if you’re not the type of person who has already bought all your Christmas gifts then this could be a fruitful time for you. However – it is not just us Brits who have seen the benefit of Black Friday Deals – the scammers have whole-heartedly embraced the phenomena and are all poised to spring a surprise attack.
So how can you make the most of online bargains and keep yourself safe? We’ve got a few titbits of safety information for you that we hope will help you shop safely and avoid being taken for a ride.
5 Tips To Stay Safe On Black Friday
Spamalicious: On any given day most of us will receive un-requested emails offering promotions that sound fantastic – not all of this is spam as you may have actually agreed to receiving these emails at some point down the line. But when there is a specific event in the calendar like Halloween, Black Friday or Cyber Monday we’ll be more inclined to expect bargain-promising emails – and if we’re expecting them, we’re more likely to open them. So how do you verify the authenticity of emails before clicking away, or identify them as spam emails? There may be hints such as terribly bad spelling or grammar as well as clues in the sender’s email address. Is that really from Amazon or is it from Amazom?
Go Direct: We are not aware of any legitimate email marketing/promotional campaigns that aren’t backed up by information on the company’s website. How do you tell if a website is safe then? Instead of following the links in the email, shop direct. Look for the key words in the email promo and make sure that you type the correct web address of the shop into your browser. Don’t copy web links from the email, and if you use a search engine rather than typing in the exact address make sure you are indeed on the correct web site and not one purporting to be your favourite store.
Poptastic: They are everywhere aren’t they? Everywhere that you go online you’ll find those pesky popup ads. If they’re not directly in your face they’ll be lurking at the side of the screen, or the bottom of a webpage. “Your mind will be blown when you see how this celeb looks now!” Or “How to lose weight easily before your Christmas party.” Or “Do you think your computer has a virus?” Don’t click them. Ever. There is no guarantee they are genuine, and you could find yourself in an Alice in Wonderland spiral of pop up after pop up after pop up.
Sparks & Mencers: Be careful of unfamiliar websites and, as above, of sites that appear upon first glance to look like your favourite online shopping site. Scammers have become very adept at making a website look almost identical to ones you know and love, so double check that website address before you enter into any transactions. If it’s a site that you have never used before then spend a little bit of time researching that company before parting with your hard-earned cash. Do a quick Google search of their name – are there any reviews? Do they come up in any news stories? A few minutes double checking could save you a lot of financial pain.
Bargain City: OK, we’re all hoping to find a great deal in any sale event but nonetheless the old adage “Too Good To Be True” should always be at the forefront of your mind. That massively reduced laptop? Is it old stock the company are trying to get rid of? That deal-of-the-century printer? How much are the replacement inks going to set you back? Ask a few questions before making a purchase you later regret.
There are some great offers to be found and we sincerely hope that you’ll be lucky enough to find one – but its always worth double checking before you commit to buy, be it Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any other bargain that comes your way.