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Cyber Monday Tips & Hints

It’s Cyber Monday on November 28th, the day when the tradition in recent years has been for online retailers to offer discounts on a wide range of items. In recent years, sales on Cyber Monday have been significant with Amazon, eBay, Currys, John Lewis and other major retailers leading the way. In 2021, it is estimated that £4.8 billion was spent on Cyber Monday in the UK and that average spend per customer was £275. Cyber Monday can offer you great deals, but care should be taken to ensure it is the right deal for you, and to ensure that your online transactions are safe. 

Right Deal?

It is important not to rush any purchases on Cyber Monday, just because they are short-term deals. Before purchasing, consider the following: 

  • Do you really want or need the item, and will it meet your needs? A bargain is not a bargain if you won’t actually use it. 

  • Shop around! Check deals on other retailers’ websites to confirm you are getting the best price possible. 

  • Online purchases should have a 14-day return period if you change your mind but double-check before buying – including any costs of returning the item and how refunds are made. 

Is it Safe?

When buying anything online there are certain checks you need to make before purchasing, and on Cyber Monday this can be particularly important. There can be a temptation to try to grab a bargain for fear of losing out on the deal, so it is very important that you undertake some checks before making a purchase – particularly if it is from a website that you don’t normally use. 

Hints & Tips

Beware emails or online adverts promoting Cyber Monday deals, unless they are from a retailer you use regularly, and you are confident that the email is genuine. It is always best to type the website address directly into your browser, rather than use a link. 

 

  • Grammatical Error

  • Unfamiliar Greeting

  • No Company Header/Footer

  • Email Address/Domain do not match

  • Suspicious links and attachments

  • Creates a sense of urgency

  • Request for sensitive data

  • Quid Pro Quo

 

Before visiting a website make sure your device’s software and security settings are up to date

Ensure you have firewall and antivirus on. 

 

Be cautious about using public WiFi, your phone’s connection is more secure. If you must use public WiFi, check that there is a padlock symbol next to the WiFi name before connecting and, if you have access to a VPN (Virtual Private Network), ensure it is active. 

Visiting the Website:

  • The website address starts with ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for secure.  

  • The padlock symbol appears in the browser, beside web address.  

  • The security certificate that appears when you click on the padlock is registered to the correct address.  

  • If using a new retailer, use a strong password you haven’t used before. This will limit the risk if the retailer is not legitimate or has poor security. A strong password has a minimum of 8 characters and contains a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

  • The website has a returns policy explaining how to return an item and how your money will be refunded. Beware sites that offer refunds in the form of gift cards or credit notes. 

  • The website has a privacy policy that tells you exactly what it plans to do with your data.  

  • The site is written in clear English without spelling or grammar mistakes, or phrases that don’t sound quite right, which might be an indication of a fake site. 

  • The retailer has a good reputation as either a high-street shop or an established online retailer.  

  • Review sites such as Trustpilot™ do not raise any red flags about the website. Reviews indicate that other users did not experience any serious problems with the site.  

  • The site displays full contact details, so you can complain if something goes wrong. 

When Purchasing

  • Be careful when out and about that nobody can see your payment card or overhear you reading out your card details. 

  • Particularly for a new retailer, pay using your credit card or a payment service such as PayPal™. This will provide you with more protection than using your debit card. 

  • Remember, to keep a close eye on your bank account and credit card transactions in the days following your purchase, making sure you recognise all payments and contacting your bank immediately if you don’t. 

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