Black Friday could save you hundreds – or even thousands if you plan to go big this 29 November – but make sure your online shopping experience is a safe and stress-free one this year

We have some really useful tips that you need to read before you start punching in those credit card details at 12.01 on the 29th.

BEWARE: Hackers and scammers love Black Friday too

We don’t want you to get scammed this Black Friday, so read this before you get your credit card out:

Before 29 November

Do a bit of research on the store’s site before you buy

If you don’t know them, investigate the retailer before you buy. Search for the store’s registration number, registered office and telephone number. You can also do a little background check: read other customers’ reviews and learn about the shop’s reputation.

Pre 29 November tip: Decide before the day what items you are interested in buying and check out the sites before the pressure hits on the 29th.

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Plan ahead and don’t lose your cool

Your head might be spinning at all the great deals in your inbox, but keep a clear head, know what you need, have a list of sites you want to check out

Make sure you have secure passwords

Before you enter any details online, make sure your password is a strong one – not your birth date or your child’s name! Include numbers, symbols, punctuation and both upper- and lower-case letters.

Have a banking alert set up on your phone

If you don’t have a banking alert sms set up on your phone, there’s time to get it sorted before 23 November.

Pre 29 November tip: Contact your bank and make sure they have your correct cell phone number, so you can keep track of all your transactions – both to prevent fraud and to keep a record of your transactions.

On the day

Shop from home

Avoid using the free wi-fi at your local restaurant or mall if you’re going to be using your credit card.

You might be tempted to log on to an online store site while you’re out and EVERYONE is talking about an unmissable deal, but a public network is not a secure one.

Rather use your own phone or computer

Also, rather be safe and shop from your own computer or phone. Using someone else’s device could expose you to malware.

Pre 29 November tip: Make sure that your anti-virus software, operating system and web browser have the latest security versions installed. It’s important to keep your software updated regularly, as viruses are regularly updated to bypass these security controls.

Look out for the padlock

Never buy anything from a site that doesn’t have ‘https’ at the start of the URL. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. There should also be a padlock icon in the address bar at the top, or the status bar at the bottom, depending on the site.

Keep track of all your purchases

Print all your orders, receipts, email confirmations and product descriptions to keep ready to use if you spot anything weird.  If you do, contact your bank immediately.

Read this next: Preparing for Black Friday: 6 Ways to shop wisely & avoid buyer’s remorse