Five ways to avoid scammers on Black Friday 2018

Black Friday is a day when consumers have a chance to receive major bargains on products just before Christmas. However, as you are taking advantage of the discounts on offer, make sure you  don’t gift scammers with your payment details.

To avoid falling into the hands of hackers and scammers during Black Friday 2018, we are sharing some of the tips you can find in Graham Day’s book, Security in the Digital World.          

Is the website you are purchasing from secure?          

All the information for the security of the site is found in or beside the browser’s address bar. The padlock icon shows the site is secure and the ‘https://’ (as opposed to ‘http://’) shows a secure protocol is being used.

Next to the padlock is an ‘i’ (or right-click the padlock), which allows you to see the information of the site that has been verified by the digital certificate authority. There is an icon to view further information, which will allow you to verify the site is secure. It will also show you information on any saved passwords, and show you what type of encryption is being used on the site.

Don’t save your payment details online 

There are many websites that offer the option of storing your card or other payment details when you make a purchase. We recommend you don’t save your payment details online, as this creates two avenues through which your details can be compromised: through your browser and through the website.

Use an RFID-blocking sleeve for contactless cards 

Remember to never pass your card over to someone taking a payment.

Contactless cards are used to make payments without giving your PIN or even putting the card into a machine. While convenient, this technology comes with several new risks. The main one is that a transaction can take place without the cardholder realising. Criminals use card readers in confined areas, so even when cards are in handbags, wallets and purses, transactions can still be  made without your knowledge.

An RFID-blocking sleeve will prevent your contactless card from being used unintentionally, preventing you from falling victim to unauthorised transaction attacks.

Check ATMs for skimming devices

‘Skimming’ is an illegal activity that involves installing a device (usually undetectable by ATM users) that secretly records bank account data when the user inserts an ATM card.

To spot if an ATM has been skimmed, you should look out for:

Hidden cameras – these record customers typing their PIN into the machine and can be found above the ATM screen.
Skimmer devices – they look very similar to card readers and are fit over them, making them look like part of the ATM. Skimmer devices can be spotted by checking the card reader: the original card reader curves inwards, whereas skimmer devices will often curve outwards.
Keypad overlays – these sit directly on top of a factory-installed ATM key pad and record the keystrokes made by a user.

Is your Apple Pay® secure?

With an Apple Pay-enabled device, you can buy coffee with a flash of your wrist or a swipe of your phone. A big risk with all these devices is that your card details must be saved on the device for you to use Apple Pay. These devices are not as secure as computers or laptops, because you can’t put as many security features on them, and they are easily misplaced.

Security in the Digital World

Written by cyber security expert Graham Day, this book is a straightforward guide for the home user, parent, consumer and home office worker, and discusses a wide range of modern security measures.

Purchase Security in the Digital World here.