By now you should be well aware that Black Friday is on the horizon, with some retailers having already kicked off respective sales and deals for the next two weeks. It therefore means that a number of transactions will be taking place in the coming days, with the majority happening online.

Also aware of Black Friday are scammers, which means those shopping online are prime targets when the red mist descends and the frantic need to buy that product at a drastically reduced price takes hold.

Aiming to ensure South Africans do not fall victim to any Black Friday scams, Ozow (formerly i-Pay) has listed a handful of helpful tips to keep in mind while transacting.

With the company specialising in instant EFT transactions to assist consumers who do not have a credit card to shop online, Ozow is uniquely positioned within the ecommerce space to know what to look out for.

“Since majority of the population will be shopping on ecommerce stores, it’s important for consumers to stay vigilant,”  says Ozow CEO Thomas Pays.

To that end end these are the five tips that Pays and Ozow think will be of benefit this Black Friday:

1. Shop with popular ecommerce retailers

Trustworthy sites like Takealot are able to handle large volumes of transactions through a safe automated process, says Ozow. As such it’s best to opt for retailers with a proven track record.

2. Do not trust non-secure checkouts

Checkout security is imperative as it is the most vulnerable point for cyberattackers. A good encrypted checkout should always have a small padlock icon next to the site’s URL in your browser, Ozow explains.

3. Be alert when shopping online

Though convenient, shopping online via your mobile device introduces many new security challenges. Cyberattackers use abbreviated URLs on social media, and once clicked on, you have no idea where it’s directing you to, warns the firm.

4. Don’t divulge unnecessary personal information

When filling in your personal details for checkout, do not save your credit card details, ensure that they are cleared from the site and you are logged out of the site properly.

5. Use a secure payment solution

By selecting secure payment platforms  at checkout, consumers don’t need to rely on a credit or debit card to shop. Here Ozow points to solutions like its own, where users can instead complete their purchases using their online savings and cheque accounts. All shoppers need is a bank account linked to their online banking profile.

With 2018 seeing an estimated R2.9 billion being spent during Black Friday, and this year anticipated to be a staggering 30 percent more, it’s a good idea to keep a clear head among all the deals, and ensure you stay safe.