The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, a time when shoppers scurry to score some of the biggest deals of the year. The bargains continue on Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. To keep the holidays happy, it is essential to shop safely on these crowded and confusing days.
Global Learning Systems, a leading provider of security awareness training, offers some sage suggestions for protecting your personal information as you shop on Black Friday weekend in NYC. Unfortunately, scammers know this is an ideal season to steal personal information digitally and physically.
The first step is to familiarize yourself with common scams to steal your identify. A hacker could steal your credit card information and other personal info. For example, this can occur if you shop at an untrustworthy site. Phishing happens when you respond to an email or digital message from a phony source. An example is an email that appears to be from your bank but is really a phishing attempt to get your account info.
Secondly, know the signs of a scam. Shop on trusted websites and don’t be tempted by fly-by-night deals. Access websites directly rather than using links in emails. Use a secure connection, indicated by the “https” that precedes the URL or a padlock in the address bar. Keep passwords and personal information secure. Contact companies directly if you receive an email asking you to verify certain private info. Make sure your computer has updated anti-spyware, anti-spam and anti-virus software with a working firewall.
A third suggestion as you shop around on Black Friday is to use your credit cards. While you might not want to max them out during the holidays, you can always pay the bill right away. Credit cards typically have policies that protect people if the care is stolen and used by a stranger. It can be difficult to recover money stolen from a debit card account.
Finally, be aware at all times when you shop in bustling NYC stores on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Keep your credit cards and personal info on your person all the time. Save your receipts in case you need to verify your purchases. Put credit cards and cash away immediately after paying for your items. Make sure your smartphone and tablet are locked and on you at all times.
Shoppers can score some incredible deals this weekend in NYC but safety is a top concern. Racked offers a list of 59 deals to score in NYC to get shoppers off and running on Black Friday.