It’s that time of year, the 20th of November, typically known in the retail trade as ‘Black Friday’ has come and gone. Hackers are now in full swing, tempting and luring us into parting with our cash and identity for an empty promise. Black Friday, known among the retail trade as the start of the holiday shopping season is also the start of the Hacker’s busiest period. This year, the biggest concern among technology experts is web-borne malware.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is followed in marketing lingo by Cyber Monday. Both are big days for retailers and online fraudsters. Consumers should watch out for e-mails advertising incredible deals that seem too good to be true.

Emails purporting to be from Ebay, Amazon or other Specialist E-tailors hide the true website addresses that you are directed to visit through clickable links. Another trick is to send out (blast) emails to innocent internet users, advertising a hot product for far less than normal retailers. This years hot products will, in our opinion be electronic goods like the Nintendo Wii and quite possibly the Amazon Kindle, both of which look set to be sold out!

Reports indicate that this year fraud losses due to e-commerce will top the 3 and a half billion dollar mark. This is predominantly due to an increase in online users and those looking for hot deals on the web. It’s also important to remember that websites at the top of Google, Yahoo or MSN may not be the safest domains. Tactics are widely used to get top rankings and the search engines don’t vet websites for authenticity! Basically, buyer beware. If there isn’t a phone number or valid trading address on the website, don’t buy from it.