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15 Safety Tips When Shopping For Black Friday Deals

15 Safety Tips When Shopping For Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is upon us again, which means it is time to go shopping for all the best deals this chaotic shopping event has to offer! It is one of the most anticipated days for shopping. Though many people feel good about getting a bargain, Black Friday has more than its fair share of risks. Some people get trampled in a stampede, while others get caught up in online scams and lose their hard-earned money. In light of these dangers, the shopping day can be incredibly overwhelming.

I remember how in 2020, Busola was browsing online for Black Friday deals when she received an email with a deal that was too good to pass up. It was a deal from "Amazon" for an iPhone XR selling at $117. That was almost 80% off! She clicked on the link, and it took her to a website that looked like the actual Amazon website. She clicked on the checkout button and entered her card details. That's when she realized it was a scam and there was no way to cancel the order or get her money back. She later found out this was a common Black Friday scam. Many people fall for it because they are looking for amazing deals. Be safe this Black Friday, and only shop at reputable stores. Don't get scammed like Busola was.

That is why it is always essential that you know your safety guidelines and ensure you follow them at all times while shopping on Black Friday. Following the steps below, our biggest hope is that this article will make your next Black Friday deal shopping experience safer.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States when retailers offer doorbuster deals and discounts on holiday shopping. Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and it can be a great time to find deals on gifts for friends and family.

The picture explains the real meaning of Black Friday
What is Black Friday?

How to Shop Safely Offline on Black Friday

One of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the fear of large crowds. According to a 2022 study by Drive Research, 58% of shoppers won't partake in Black Friday shopping because of large crowds. But if you are among the 42%, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when shopping in physical stores on Black Friday:

1. Plan ahead.
Know what stores you want to visit and what deals you are looking for. Make a list of the items you need to buy, and map your route in advance. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting caught up in the day's excitement.

2. Dress comfortably.
You will be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Leave your valuables at home, so you don't have to worry about them while shopping.

3. Stay hydrated.
It is easy to get dehydrated when you are running around all day. Bring a water bottle with you, and take breaks often to drink some water.

4. Be aware of your surroundings.
Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, especially when in crowded areas. Watch out for pickpockets, and be careful not to drop your purse or wallet in the chaos.

5. Use the buddy system.
As the holiday shopping season ramps up, so do the opportunities for criminals to take advantage of busy shoppers. It would help if you took some basic safety precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime. One of the best ways to stay safe while shopping is to use the buddy system.

Shopping with a friend or family can help you stay alert and aware of your surroundings. It is also a good idea to let someone know where you will be shopping and when you expect to return home. If you do find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe, don't hesitate to call for help or walk away from the situation. Remember, your safety is always more important than any deal you may find.

How to Shop Safely Online on Black Friday

In-person Black Friday shopping can be chaotic, but shopping online on Black Friday can be just as risky if you are not careful. Follow these safety tips to ensure you shop safely online on Black Friday.

6. Pay using secure methods.
When it comes to securing your checkouts, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure you are using a secure checkout process. A padlock icon should be next to the address bar to show a secure, encrypted connection. This means using a reputable online payment system like PayPal or a credit card provider that offers secure transactions.

Second, always check the URL of the website you are shopping on to ensure it starts with "HTTPS" - this indicates that the site uses a secure connection. Finally, never enter your personal or financial information into a popup window or email form - only do so on secure websites you trust.

7. Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date.
This will help protect your computer from malicious software that could be used to steal your personal or financial information. If you lower your guard in a rush to get the best Black Friday deals, you are at greater risk of malicious threats, said Mike Wills, director of strategy and policy at cyber and data security firm CSS Assure.

"Cyber criminals will no doubt be looking to take advantage of the vast amount of transactions and the financial information being shared. There is also an increase in promotional email traffic, which makes it hard to differentiate the real bargains from scams – presenting a heightened risk of phishing attacks. With this in mind, consumers must protect themselves and their families during two of the year's biggest shopping days."

8. Use a credit card rather than a debit card.
Credit cards offer more protection against fraudulent charges than debit cards. If a fraudster gets access to your debit card, they have access to all the money in that account. The money is gone from your account and you are out the cash until the situation gets sorted.

"If you have additional accounts linked to your debit account, such as a savings account for overdraft protection, these accounts would also be vulnerable," says Dan Wilke, founder of the personal finance blog Credit Liftoff. So, if you use a debit card for online transactions for Black Friday, monitor your account closely for any suspicious activity.

9. Read the terms and conditions.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any deal or sale you want to take advantage of. This will help ensure that you understand the details of what you are getting into and avoid any potential pitfalls.

10. Steer clear of "too good to be true" deals.
A few red flags to watch out for could indicate a scam. One is if the deal is "too good to be true." If you find a deal that seems too good to be true, research it before making a purchase. Check reviews of the seller and the product, and ensure the website is secure before entering your credit card information. If you are ever in doubt, err on the side of caution and don't make the purchase.

11. Use strong passwords.
When it comes to online shopping, one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to use strong passwords. That means using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your password and making sure your passwords are different for each account you have.

If you are using the same password for multiple accounts, stop! It is not safe and not worth the risk. Take the time to create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts, and change them regularly. Your future self will thank you.

12. Use an ad-blocker.
One of the most important things you can do is to use an ad blocker. This will help to block any malicious ads that could be used to infect your computer with malware. There are a few different ad blockers that you can choose from. Most have free extensions compatible with major browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Once you have an ad blocker installed, keep it up to date. Advertisers are constantly coming up with new ways to bypass ad blockers, so you should install the latest version. You can usually find updates for your ad blocker through the extension's settings page or by checking the developer's website.

13. Beware of phishing.
Remember Busola's ordeal we discussed earlier? That is a typical phishing scam. Phishing occurs when a scammer poses as a legitimate company or individual to trick you into giving them personal information or financial data. They may do this through email, text messages, or social media. Be very careful about any communications you receive from companies or individuals you don't know, especially if they ask for personal information.

If you are unsure about a communication you receive, contact the company or individual directly to confirm its legitimacy. And never click on any links or attachments from someone you don't know - they could be malicious and install malware on your device.

14. Shop with trusted brands.
When getting the best Black Friday deals, you should shop with brands you know and trust. This way, you can be sure that you are getting quality products at a great price. There are a few ways to tell if a brand is reputable. First, check to see if the company has been in business for a long time. This usually means that they're doing something right.

Another way to tell if a brand is reputable is by looking at online reviews. See what other people have said about their experience with the company. If there are mostly positive reviews, you can be confident that you will also have a good experience. Finally, take some time to research the company before you make a purchase. Check out their website and social media accounts to get a feel for their brand and what they stand for. This will help you know what to expect when you buy from them.

15. Only shop on secure websites.
Ensure you only shop on secure websites by checking for the https:// in the website address. This indicates that the site uses a secure connection, which helps protect your personal and financial information. FortiGuard Labs, a leading cybersecurity company, observed more and more scams involving fake websites that appear as legitimate e-commerce sites. They urge users to carefully review any unfamiliar website before making a purchase.

Remember to err on the side of caution this Black Friday. When you buy your items, use our USA warehouse address as seen on your Heroshe dashboard. Create an account to start shipping from the USA to Nigeria for as low as $8 per pound.

Happy Shopping!

Afolabi Ojabowale

Afolabi Ojabowale

Ojabowale Afolabi is the content marketing lead at Heroshe. I have a deep passion for telling brands' stories to educate their audiences across a breadth of media and content forms.