Security pros explain Black Friday best practices for consumers and businesses

Consumers have to make sure not to fall prey to fraudulent coupons or deceptively spoofed retailer websites.

Strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales crush fears of retail apocalypse but not cyber security concerns
The holiday shopping season is off to a record breaking start but analysts are reminding consumers to play it safe online.

Black Friday has rapidly become the most lucrative day of the year for retailers around the world thanks to America’s growing obsession with after Thanksgiving shopping. 

The numbers from the days around Black Friday last year are eye-popping. Retailers  brought in $6.22 billion in online sales on Black Friday and another $7.8 billion on Cyber Monday. Americans have now become so eager that the cash is starting to roll in on Thanksgiving Thursday as well, with over $3.7 billion in sales made last year, a 28% rise compared to 2017 according to CNBC. 

For some companies, the single day can now represent up to 30% of their yearly sales. 

These astounding numbers have coincided with steep increases in cyberattacks, breaches, and sums of money lost through the efforts of hackers around Black Friday from both consumers and businesses. 

Last year, Amazon notified shoppers that they had been hacked hours before Black Friday came, and this year, Macy’s was forced to send a letter out to affected customers admitting to a devastating hack that gave criminals access to thousands of credit card numbers. 

To help protect consumers and keep companies from hacks, TechRepublic spoke to security researchers about best practices people and enterprises can use to stay safe as they shop till they drop on Black Friday. 

SEE: Special report: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium) 

Cybersecurity company SiteLock released a detailed study of the Black Friday security landscape and spoke to consumers about how they feel ahead of the shopping…