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 tip five to help website users stay safe this shopping season…

5. Payment Alerts
Using online banking alerts can help to stop attacks in their tracks. If you are in the unfortunate situation that your card details have been compromised, setting alerts on your transactions via mobile banking, means you remain in the loop about all transactions leaving your bank account. You can therefore cancel your card almost immediately.

Many times when a card has been compromised, payments may be taken in two types of ways. Either a credit card will quickly be used with multiple payments being made seconds or minutes apart. Or, hackers will adopt a slow burn tactic, testing cards with smaller amounts or setting up longer term subscriptions. If you notice a transaction that you do not recognise, freeze your card to investigate the transaction and cancel the card if necessary.

It’s important to remain vigilant after the holiday shopping period too. If you receive phone calls claiming to be from your bank and asking for your details, do not disclose anything, and contact your bank directly.

Millions of users shop online for Black Friday without issue and cyberattacks should not deter consumers from shopping online. Being aware of the various attack tactics can go a long way in preventing consumers falling victim to attacks. If you do have suspicions of a website, report it to the NCSC to investigate, contact your bank to cancel your card and stay vigilant to suspicious calls.

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