The Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are right around the corner. This holiday season, ensuring the privacy and security of your online shopping spree has to be of paramount importance, specially with a rise in cybersecurity threats and data breaches from all corners. But as the saying goes - the first step in solving any problem is to recognise there is one - we are going to discuss cyber threats that may be lurking around to ruin your online shopping experience and how to prevent them from causing serious damage this holiday season.
Both Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays have seen tremendous growth since their inception. As the cybersecurity company McAfee states, global interest in Black Friday has skyrocketed year-over-year, recording an average of 117 per cent growth in the last five years. Forbes reported Black Friday 2019 generated $6.2 billion in online sales alone while Cyber Monday generated $7.9 billion. Meanwhile, more shoppers are turning their attention to the internet to participate in holiday bargain hunting.
This week, as researchers state, online shopping sales on desktop devices were 47 per cent while mobile and tablet purchases made up 45 per cent and 8 per cent of revenue, respectively. As per Adobe Analytics' projections, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are expected to generate $12.3 billion in online sales while Cyber Monday is expected to bring in $9.48 billion. This year's holiday shopping season of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are expected to see an uptick in terms of online sale, as well as cyber threats.
Such huge interest and online spendings during these sales are primarily why bad actors and cybercriminals are looking to play their tricks and steal away money.
As cybersecurity researchers predict, an uptick in mobile online shopping may create an opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit. As per the McAfee Mobile Threat Report, an increase in mobile online shopping leads attackers to exploit backdoors, fake apps and banking trojans. Rushed purchases could be another reason why cyber threats are likely to cause more trouble this holiday season. Interested customers may not have enough time to shop online between Turkey Day and Christmas. This may build up a pressure to shop faster and customers may not pay enough attention to cybersecurity practices, researchers state.
Always shop on secure, credible websites: A credibility of the website plays a very important role in ensuring secure online shopping experience. Always shop on secure websites that start with 'https://' and not just 'Http://'. Double-check to ensure the validity of SSL certificate issued to such websites. If the SSL certificate is valid, that means the data shared with the website is in an encrypted form.
Shop more on desktops and less on mobile: Researchers recommend users to shop more on desktop devices and less on mobile devices. Mobile online shopping increases the spreading of fake shopping apps and malware. Furthermore, shortened URLs trick users into falling for clone websites.
Read customers reviews and testimonials: Cybercriminals often try to lure customers into fake websites filled with scammers. Do some research on your own before making any purchase on untrustworthy websites. Also, read customers' reviews and testimonials before shopping on such websites.