Being able to shop for practically anything from the comfort of your own home is great for avoiding people, queues and having to get dressed! But online shopping has the additional risks of getting scammed. Shopping events such as Black Friday / Cyber Monday provide the urgency which helps consumers fall for scams.


Where did Black Friday come from?

There are a number of theories about where Black Friday came from, one of which is that businesses were in the red (at a loss) until this day where they started to make profit (in the black) as a result of Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping. A more accurate idea is simply this is a popular date to start Christmas shopping and so people would flock cities and cause huge crowds and issues with the police.1

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

As shopping moved online, the Monday following Black Friday was coined as Cyber Monday – a day to get the best online shopping deals. Nowadays both terms are used interchangeably and the deals last most of November!

What’s this got to do with IT?

Cybercrime! The influx of shopping online this time of year with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner is a scammers paradise. Be extra diligent with Black Friday deals sent via text or email. They may look identical to the brand they’re mimicking or even use a convincing email domain but if something sounds too good to be true – it probably is! As well as being on alert for Black Friday email scams it’s important to minimise your threat risk when online shopping.

How to shop safely online?

Look for secure websites

HTTPS websites have an extra layer of security compared with HTTP called an SSL certificate. This is particularly important if you’re inputting personal information such as credit card information as the SSL certificate means your personal details are encrypted and so private.

Avoid Public WiFi

Say you’re out and about and see an advert for a Black Friday deal, you might be tempted to look it up on your phone and buy there and then. If you do decide to do that, first check you’re not connected to a Public WiFi. You cannot guarantee the security of the connection so it’s better to turn WiFi off and use 4G/5G.

Don’t fall victim!

The leading cause of data breach is human error – meaning a person clicking on a dodgy link. You can put all the security tools in place but something may fall through the gaps. We recommend (and use in-house) and advanced security awareness training platform called Phished. This teaches your team to stay alert for scam emails and to question anything that doesn’t seem right. Check out our Phished page or contact us for more information.