While it makes for bleak reading, the frenzy of sales and online shopping activity surrounding Black Friday, means this pre-holiday season is a key period for cybercriminals. And each year we see an increase in cyberattacks during what should be a feel-good time.

The picture is all-the-more worrying in 2022, as this Black Friday (25th November) falls on the same date as the USA vs England World Cup game – a hotly-anticipated day of betting for bookmakers.

With even more consumers therefore expected to be shopping online this year, the opportunity for fraudulent behaviour is rife. But that doesn’t mean we have to surrender to the risks of poor website security. Here, Georgina Grant Muller, marketing manager at RapidSpike, shares the second of her 5 key tips to help website users stay safe this shopping season…

2. SSL and safe-browsing
The first thing consumers should take note of when entering a website is whether the website has an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate ensures any data transferred between website users and websites is encrypted and secure. Users can easily tell if a website currently has a valid certificate, if the website has a locked padlock symbol in the URL bar. If the website does not have a valid certificate, the words “Not secure” will appear next to the URL. No personal information should be shared on such websites as the data could be compromised.

Additionally, Google’s Safe Browsing list monitors sites for malware, social engineering, phishing and more. When searching for a website, Google will show warnings to users when they attempt to navigate to websites with security issues. Users should therefore take note of websites with security warnings and not shop on any website deemed as unsafe.

Leeds-headquartered RapidSpike is a renowned website monitoring platform, protecting the three key aspects of website health – performance, reliability and security.