Black Friday Secure Online Shopping Guide 2021

In a recent TransUnion study, findings indicated online fraud and identity theft against consumers and businesses is thriving. In fact, TransUnion Consumer Division Vice President Kriben Reddy noted identity theft (when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, address, ID number, bank account number, username and password, to commit fraud) is a rising problem in South Africa — with nearly 50% of consumers falling victim.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday marking the start of the holiday retail season, you can be sure criminals are poised to mount attacks. The good news is TransUnion TrueIdentity solution allows consumers to monitor, recover and restore personal information from identity theft. And to help ensure your Black Friday online shopping can be done with more confidence, we’re providing some guidelines.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Secure Online Shopping Guide 2021

Emails

Countless emails will land in your inbox before and on Black Friday, some promising you deals and discounts that seem too good to be true. We advise you not click on a suspicious email or SMS link that redirects you to a non-secure website. That’s because unfortunately, some links are malicious and designed to steal personal data.

TrueIdentity empowers you to understand and manage your personal information and TrueIdentity ID Monitor gives you real-time alerts via email or SMS when someone uses that information for fraudulent activities on the dark web.

Get your annual free credit report from TransUnion to see your credit status.

Passwords

Shopping online usually requires a consumer provide their details, such as name, email address, residential or work address, cellphone number and ID number to sign up or subscribe to promotional newsletters and check out.

Don’t use passwords that are easy to remember and never share them with anyone. You can use a password generator and manager tool to create strong passwords that include special characters, numbers, small and capital letter combinations. And store them in a secure place where only you can access them.

Social media networks

Social networks are the most effective sales channels globally, and businesses are already promoting Black Friday offerings to existing and potential customers. When shopping online through a social media channel this Black Friday, ensure the account is verified. If not, thoroughly check if the business is a legally registered entity with a physical address and telephone number you can use to confirm that Black Friday offers are legitimate.

TrueIdentity ID Restore provides you with a forensic investigator to help you restore your stolen identity from Internet fraudsters. TransUnion will update you every step of the way during the entire process. In addition, ID Monitor will continuously provide alerts when someone is tampering with your personal information.

Secure ecommerce sites

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way consumers shop, and restrictions to reduce foot traffic in most retail outlets have encouraged more consumers to do so online. Unfortunately, when you visit a non-secure ecommerce site, your personal information is vulnerable. Due to the nature of online shopping and the information required for check out and shipping, having TrueIdentity will help you shop with peace of mind.

TrueIdentity ID Recover provides identity theft insurance coverage benefits for TransUnion’s monthly and annual subscriptions. In addition, TrueIdentity grants you unlimited access to your credit report and score anytime. Secure sites have SSL certificates that authenticate a website’s identity for a secure Black Friday shopping experience. In addition, the online store’s URL will have an HTTPS extension (the S at stands for secure) and a lock icon to indicate it’s safe to access.

Virtual private network (VPN)

For more trustworthy shopping on Black Friday, use a virtual private network — a service that protects your Internet connection and online privacy by hiding your IP address and allowing you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely. Most VPN service providers are affordable and work best with TransUnion’s credit and identity monitoring solutions.

Subscribe to TransUnion TrueIdentity today from as little as R49 per month or R499 for one year, and gain access to exclusive, value-added benefits, such as ID Monitor, ID Restore, ID Recover, and anytime Credit Report Alerts and Score.