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Tips for shopping safely on Black Friday | The Citizen

In a world of increasing contact-less payments, here are ways you can keep your banking information safe during Black Friday.

Global contactless purchases are expected to more than quadruple between now and 2027.

This significant growth will mainly be driven by payment-enabled mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches.

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“As we approach 2024, it is clear contactless payments are more than a trend; it has staying power,” said Anna Collard of KnowBe4 AFRICA. However, while the convenience of not needing to carry a wallet is undeniable, there are risks associated with contactless payments.

“Apple Pay and Google Pay are relatively secure contactless payments using their own combinations of passcodes, encryption, fingerprint- or facial-recognition technology,” Collard said.

Stay alert

“They have invested into ensuring you can protect your device and your accounts. But if you break the chain – use third-party apps, click on phishing messages, fall for scams – these protections fall away and your device is vulnerable.”

Losing your phone or having someone get hold of your passcode is another major worry. In these situations, dishonest people can exploit your device to make unauthorised contactless payments. Staying alert and taking measures to safeguard your personal information is essential.

“For example, you receive a text message that looks like it is from Apple Pay or other mobile payment app. The message claims there is an issue with your account and asks you to confirm your login details by clicking on a link. It is a scam.

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“When you enter your information, the fraudsters get access to your account. They could then make unauthorised transactions against your credit card.”

Tap-and-go technology is also available for traditional bank cards. However, using bank cards for tap-and-pay transactions poses its own set of risks.

“Fraudsters may attempt to skim or clone your bank card to gain access to your funds. “Skimming happens when they use sneaky devices on real payment terminals to steal your card information. Cloning involves making fake cards with all your card details,” Collard said.

“When you are shopping at speed to catch the best Black Friday deals, you are distracted, which means it is easy not to see a skimming device.”

Practical tips

To minimise the risks associated with contactless payments, follow these practical tips:

• Set a strong passcode: Choose a unique and strong passcode for your phone or smartwatch. Do not use readily apparent passcodes.

• Protect your Apple ID or other mobile payment apps IDs: Use two-factor authentication and never share your ID password or verification codes with anyone.

• Enable biometric authentication: Take advantage of features like facial recognition or fingerprint scanning to add an extra layer of security.

• Keep your devices nearby: Make sure to have your phone or smartwatch with you at all times and don’t leave them unattended.

• Regularly monitor transactions: Stay vigilant by regularly reviewing your bank statements.

• Change tap-and-go limits: Change the tap-and-go limit on your card. By requiring a PIN for higher amounts, you add another layer of security.

• Be cautious with your card: Keep bank card in a secure place. Don’t share your PIN.

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