Get All Access for $5/mo

Here's How to Shop Safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday On these two days, fraudsters target shoppers by bombarding them with emails, banner advertising and social media posts

By Remesh Ramachandran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching and it's time to begin the shopping. However, the swirl of purchases and the data that they represent are observed by cybercriminals to make profit.

What are the risks?

On these two days, not only genuine retailers but fraudsters also get active. Fraudsters wait to target shoppers by bombarding them with emails, banner advertising and social media posts.

Customers must always make sure that sites where they make purchases are legitimate. They should keep an eye out for anything suspicious such as a request for login details or credit card numbers; at any point other than at checkout is likely to be a scam.

During Black Friday, there is also an increased risk of phishing. When you are using a personal computer, make sure that the system has an updated anti-malware software. Also check for indications such as a mismatched URL and confusing domain names in emails, even though it will be difficult to find these subtle differences.

What can I do to stay safe?

It is advised to do a few basic steps to reduce the risks of being targeted by cybercriminals.

Always be attentive and think about what you see: If you find any "unbelievable' offers, it might be. Think before opening any emails received from unknown sender with tempting subject lines. Make sure not to reveal your personal information.

Use credit cards: Most of the credit card companies provide better fraud protection than debit card providers and also many of them do not make the cardholder liable for fraudulent purchases. Besides, also make use of PayPal which provides a dispute resolution service. If you are purchasing from the store, making cash purchases means your data won't be processed on the shop's point-of-sale system.

Use secure websites: Make online purchases only through legitimate and secure sites. Secure sites can be easily identified by the padlock symbol next to the URL, and/or the https at the start of the URL (instead of just http). These two signs indicate that the site is safe to use.

Monitor your financial statements. Even though you have taken all precautions, make it a practice to monitor your bank accounts. If you find any suspicious activity, you have to flag it to your payment provider, so that cards can be frozen and get the investigation started.

Need more information?

All retailers that accept card payments are legally required to comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) that provides a framework of best practices to ensure security of card details.

In addition, the EU General Data Protection Regulation serves to protect individuals' personal data. Online retailers that capture, store and use personal data of consumers, must treat that data appropriately. Before making purchases, it is advisable to read the company's privacy policy and terms and conditions so that you know what data will be stored and how it will be used.

Black Friday, sure has lots of deals that tempts humans to grab them. But watch carefully to avoid being a victim of cybercrime.

Remesh Ramachandran

CISO | Security Researcher | Ethical hacker

Remesh Ramachandran is an ethical hacker. He has solved several sophisticated cybercrime and real-world hacking cases, and has worked for the government and various other national and international agencies. Remesh is currently working as a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) for an organisation.


Academic Excellence Is Not Necessary for Success in Life: Hear from the Founder of this Exciting New Digital Education Platform.

Many educational platforms are emerging these days to help people qualify for various types of entrance examinations. But what about the students who don't want to take the traditional path, the ones who don't rank among the top 10 in the classroom yet still aim high in life?

Growing a Business

3 Branding Strategies That Will Make Any Brand Stand Out

Here's how to differentiate your brand in three essential steps — understanding your unique selling proposition, leveraging storytelling, and valuing feedback.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


India Needs Homegrown Product Companies In Semiconductor: Cadence Design's India MD

Most multinationals retain product ownership, key value and intellectual property at their headquarters. As a result, India, despite having a vast pool of design talent, lacks significant Indian product companies in the semiconductor industry, says Jaswinder Ahuja, MD, India Cadence Design Systems.