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Avast Blog_Tips & Advices: Ready for Black Friday? Here's our guide to easy – and saf
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Protect your privacy and financial information with these online shopping tips and the Avast Secure Browser

The holiday shopping season really gets under way when Black Friday deals begin – which now happens earlier and earlier during the week of Thanksgiving. The deals typically extend through Cyber Monday, which this year is Dec. 1. Look out, holiday shoppers. A rambunctious stretch lies ahead.

Instead of rushing to the malls, shoppers today rush to their screens, jumping into the online shopping frenzy. The only buzzkill to this holly-jolly good time is that bad actors of all types — from greedy advertisers to flat-out cybercriminals — anticipate this spike in online activity and hatch their own phishing scams and deceptive schemes to direct the digital cash flow their way. Treacherous imposters are everywhere you turn, from fake mobile apps and phony websites posing as real businesses to malicious emails pretending to be your package’s shipping info or a holiday card from a friend.

But you can avoid all the havoc and hassle with these tips for a safer, saner online shopping experience.

TIP 1: Always go ‘official’

This is the most obvious tip, in light of all the fakes that abound. For apps: Only download apps from official app stores. And, for websites: Always type the URL yourself in the address bar so you know you are on the official page. You’ll also notice that most, if not all, official sites use https to ensure an encrypted connection between you and them.
 
[Image: shopping-blog-https.png?width=1002&name=...-https.png]

TIP 2: Avoid phishing scams

Look at every holiday-themed and savings-themed email in your inbox with a suspicious eye, and never click on links inside them as they could link to an email phishing scam. Instead, if you see something in an email that is enticing, follow tip #1 and type the URL into a web browser yourself.

TIP 3: Compare prices

Before you hit the digital checkout line, open a new tab and look up that same item in other stores to see if the price is similar. If you haven’t heard of the brand before, look up comparable products by leading brands to see if the prices are similar. If your item is drastically lower than the others, you need to wonder why. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

TIP 4: Stay anonymous – use a VPN

When you use a VPN, you cruise the cyber highway in a rental car with tinted windows. It’s an encrypted connection that hides your IP address and keeps holiday predators from seeing any personal data about you, which prevents them from profiling you. Your login credentials, your banking details, and your identity stay protected. But make sure you select your preferred country in the VPN application, so the website displays the currency you want to use.

TIP 5: Cut out the clutter and hassle with an ad blocker

The above tips are for your protection, and this one is for your sanity. Certain security tools can eliminate the more stressful and tedious aspects of holiday shopping. Using an adblocker will save you the extended loading time and the headache of being constantly inundated with ads, most reminding you of previous products you’ve viewed. You’ll be more focused, your pages will load faster, and you might even find yourself humming “Joy to the World,” so full of good cheer you’ll be.

TIP 6: Do not store payment info

As you visit site after site, and especially as you make purchase after purchase, you will be peppered with requests to start new accounts and save your credit card info. We strongly suggest you deny these requests, particularly during holiday shopping. You want to share, save, and store as little personal info as possible on the internet.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes harlan4096's post:
  • dhruv2193
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#2
The last one is one of the  most important and not so well known tips.
[-] The following 1 user Likes dhruv2193's post:
  • harlan4096
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