If you are getting ready to hunt for online deals this Black Friday, here are a few tips that will help you keep attackers away from your hard-earned money, says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa

Use a safe connection

Not every internet connection is secure enough to be used for online payments. Public Wi-Fi that is available at a Christmas market is not necessarily the best of options for Black Friday shopping. A safer alternative is to access your favourite e-shop via your personal data plan.

Protect your devices

Use a trustworthy device – be it your computer, tablet or smartphone – as it is much easier for you to spot any irregularities in its behaviour. Also, keep your operating system and software up-to-date, to avoid unpatched vulnerabilities that could potentially be misused. Finally, install a reliable security solution with multiple protective layers and ideally one that can also offer protection for your e-banking and online payments.

Be wary of fake deals

If you receive a Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) offer that seems too good to be true, there is a good chance it really is. Fake deals delivered to your inbox are common during the end-of-the-year season and are used to lure victims onto fake websites which harvest sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) or login credentials.

Always check the URL

If possible, opt for respected and trustworthy brands that offer a secure shopping environment and can help you solve possible issues. But don’t let your guard down even when you see a well-known brand. Fraudsters can create fake websites that look almost identical to their original counterparts.

To avoid, keep a watchful eye on the URL. Fakes are easily identifiable as they use different internet addresses that the official pages they are trying to mimic.

Use credit card or secure payment services

Making a purchase online is safer with a credit card or secure online payment service, as this doesn’t involve any of the money you keep in your checking or savings account. And, even in the unfortunate case of a fraudulent transaction, the damage can be partially accoutred for by the bank or the service.

ESET is offering a Black Friday ESET Internet Security promotion where you can protect 3 devices for the price of 1 and enjoy safe shopping online, valid from Friday 23 November to Monday 26 November.