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How to stay safe online this Black Friday 2019

Beware these online threats this Black Friday 2019

(Image: © Pixabay)

Shoppers hunting down the latest Black Friday 2019 deals have been urged to take extra steps to ensure they stay safe online.

With millions of consumers hunting for the best and latest deals and offers, the shopping extravaganza has become an increasingly popular option for cybercriminals looking to target unsuspecting victims.

So how can you ensure the only thing in your online shopping basket this weekend is a great deal? Here's our top tip to staying safe online this Black Friday 2019.

Black Friday 2019 security

Bluntly speaking - if a deal seems too good to be true, it could well be a scam. This is especially true of offers sent via email, which are used by criminals to lure victims to phishing sites where their personal details are harvested and potentially sold on.

"Cyber criminals will likely attempt to exploit individuals' desire to seek out sales over the holiday shopping season by crafting email lures advertising sales or pretending to have been sent by popular brands," says Kimberly Goody, Manager, Cybercrime Analysis, FireEye.

 "More other common lures used by malicious email campaigns throughout the year, such as delivery notifications, are also more likely to be successful due to the increased volume of online shopping.” 

Email warning

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Some easy ways to spot a less-than-likely scam email or message include spotting spelling mistakes in the headline or subject field, as well as any errors in the body of the text. Scammers often try and impersonate legitimate retailers or businesses by spoofing official email headers or layouts, often using the correct logos or imagery to make it look more real. 

Checking the sender of the email can often be a giveaway that an email offer may not be all it promises, with criminals not able to use legitimate addresses, but rather convoluted substitutes - e.g. instead of being from exampleretailer@amazon.co.uk, a scam email might originate from scammer@maildaemon.amazonfake.0102net

Often, taking that little bit of extra vigilance could be all you need to make sure you don't lose out on your hard-earned money. 

If you need that extra bit of support, security firm Kaspersky has launched a new guide that will help consumers identify possibly malicious websites. 

The company is hoping to educate buyers following recent research which found a 15 percent increase in e-commerce cyber-attacks in the past year, whilst Black Friday and seasonal shopping days like Cyber Monday see the likelihood of financial phishing attacks increase by 24 percent.