Did you know that world computer security day is on 30th November? At Nutbourne, we’ve had this date in our diaries for a while! As cybersecurity solutions experts, we’re using world computer security day to detail how you can stay safe throughout Black Friday, Cyber Monday and one of the busiest shopping weeks of the year! 

Black Friday Fraud 

With the Black Friday shenanigans in full force, it’s important that you are shopping safely online. Be mindful because unfortunately, where there is cash and credit cards, there are criminals; even online. Fraudsters have ramped up their game during the pandemic, knowing that more people are now internet shopping. With retailers extending their Black Friday deals to encourage customers to spend more, the gateway remains open for cyber criminals to access personal data. So, we recommend implementing essential cybersecurity solutions to ensure that you don’t fall victim to malicious online activity. 

Our Cybersecurity Solutions 

With two in six adults having reported being a target of cybercrime, the stakes are considerably higher now than they have been previously. Here are some of our cybersecurity solutions and tips to help keep you safe online this week. 

Be wary of fake websites: 

Cybercriminals will try and trick people into believing that their duplicated website is the official, legitimate retailer, touting incredible deals. The website may appear almost identical to the real website, but subtle changes will indicate that this is a dupe. Look at the product descriptions, some may not match up. Additionally, images may be pixelated when clicked on and the content could be full of inaccuracies. The web address may have been changed from .co.uk to .org. Google the brand’s website and double check the address to confirm its authenticity. 

Additionally, keep an eye on legitimate social media deals. Facebook and Twitter are the favoured choice for fake posts with deals. Crooks will ask shoppers to like and share their posts, so they will be boosted to the top of the news feeds and reach a wider audience. Users tend to be more trusting on social media, especially if a link has been shared by someone they know. Consequently, it’s often more difficult to determine if a link is malicious than it would be on a more traditional platform. 

Identify if Your Site is Secure: 

Before entering any information or payment details into a website, check if it’s safe and secure. Hover your mouse over the URL and check the validity of the web address. You should look for a padlock symbol in the address bar and check that the URL begins with a ‘https://’. The ‘S’ indicates the web address has been encrypted and secured with an SSL certificate. Without https, any data passed on the site is insecure and could be intercepted by criminal third parties. To be sure, you can also check for a website privacy policy and use a website safety check tool like Google safe browsing. 

Pay by Credit Card: 

For the purpose of cybersecurity solutions, credit card is the safest way to pay as they offer consumer protection should things go wrong with your purchase. If a fraudulent purchase is made on your credit card, your bank is more likely to reimburse you straight away. It’s easier for criminals to clear a debit card, steal the balance and it can be a lot more difficult to reclaim the money. 

Set Unique Passwords: 

Cybersecurity solutions 101 – have a strong password! This isn’t just crucial for online shopping this Black Friday, but for all things technological. It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent yourself from being hacked online. Never use the same password for multiple accounts as it’ll put you at greater risk of repeated cybercrime. Use a unique password for each account so that hackers can’t guess you other passwords. A simple way to create a longer and more complex password is to use a passphrase. A passphrase is a string of words that is memorable to you but would be difficult for anyone else to crack. The first letter of each word will form the basis of your password and letters can be substituted with numbers and symbols to make it even more secure. 

Recognise Email Spam: 

More than 90 percent of cyberattacks are initiated by phishing scams and it is rife at this time of year. Phishing emails are designed to look like they’re from a trusted brand or organisation, only to coerce you into revealing your personal details. Double check the senders’ email by clicking on the ‘from’ tab in the email header – it might look like it’s from Apple but once you see the full email address, it’ll probably be combined with random letters, number, or even a name. However, it is also possible for email addresses to be spoofed, so it could still not be official, even if the email address looks correct. Hover over links, or copy and paste them, to see if the address looks correct before visiting the site.

Don’t Shop on Public WIFI: 

Everything is easily accessible on our phones and it’s often convenient to make purchases whilst we’re on the go. That being said, internet hotspots can leave you extremely vulnerable on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Public WIFI requires no authentication to establish a network connection, allowing fraudsters direct access to any unsecured devices on the same open network. Malware can also be spread, allowing cyber criminals access to everything on your device. It’s safer to use your 3G/4G network or invest in a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which guards your private data by using encryption to make it more difficult for a cybercriminal to obtain access to your device. 

Update Your Software: 

Ensure that all your software is up to date before going on a spending spree. This will prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your computer through vulnerabilities in outdated systems. The installation of good anti-virus software will also help to detect threats on your computer and block unauthorised users from gaining access. 

Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it most probably is! Black Friday deals are good but be vigilant – if there is 95% off of the brand new iPhone, let’s be honest, something is suspect. 

Contact Us 

If you have any questions about cybersecurity solutions and staying safe online, we’ll have the answers. Whatever you need, just give us a call. 

If you’d like to find out more about our Cybersecurity solutions and how they can help you, then get in touch! Contact Nutbourne today on +44 (0) 203 7273 or by filling out an enquiry form on our website.