Protect Your Privacy While Shopping This Holiday Season
With the gift-giving season right around the corner and inflation on everyone’s mind, Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday are set to be blockbuster events this year. But before heading off to your favorite retailer’s website, consider a few tips to protect your privacy and potentially get you the best price this holiday season:
- Check URLs carefully. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are primetime for phishing attacks. It’s all too easy to click on a fake link after that big meal and some wine or when waking up early on Monday. Look for the lock icon in the address bar and check to make sure the domain matches.
- Use a VPN when bargain hunting. Ever get the feeling retailers know what you want before you ask? Or see a great price suddenly disappear after searching for a while? Companies are increasingly using your data from multiple sites to determine pricing in real-time. Using a VPN can help you seek out the best deals, keep retailers in the dark, and offer a little extra security.
- For the most privacy, avoid downloading retailer-specific apps. Retailers can gather much more information about users when using their apps directly. Consider sticking to their websites if possible.
- Check the privacy settings on those heavily discounted devices. Many of those doorbuster deals are being offset by increasing personal data collection and displaying additional advertisements in menus. Privacy-minded shoppers can edit those settings to protect themselves. You may also consider leaving the device off the internet and using a dedicated streaming device.