The True Cost of Black Friday Savings

New research has revealed exactly what type of risks are out there as consumers try to enjoy the Black Friday sales online.

It can be difficult to avoid indulging in your favorite brand’s savings on Black Friday, and getting carried away with so much on offer is all too easy. provides an expert insight into how you could be inviting in more than a bargain if you take advantage of the huge sales.

This is more relevant to those shoppers who prefer online shopping, especially as Cyber Monday deals are often very common.

However, discounted TV and the last pair of bargain boots aren’t the only time online shoppers come across risks that can threaten their safety when using technology.

The risks of online shopping

Your online privacy is always at risk, regardless of what the purpose of using it is. VPNOverview discussed how hidden malware, viruses and phishing scams are around every corner.

They highlighted that if you’re not already taking precautions, these types of malicious programs could hit you at any time.

VPNOverview also highlights that faceless hackers aren’t the only concern, as web pages themselves are home to big data collection programs that could track your every move.

To help brief shoppers on which online retail platforms are collecting your data, as well as what data they’re gathering.

To find this information, VPNOverview’s experts scoured the internet to find out which sites are rumored to be offering some of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this year.

They also looked into each site’s Privacy Policy to find out what data shoppers could be handing over in order to score the best bargain.

Breaking down the information within their Privacy Policies into what kinds of data they ask for. We found out whether it’s your name, addresses, payment details, or even household size.

Using this information, they then counted who takes the most and who takes the least.

However, the experts must warn shoppers that whilst many companies do reveal the details within their Privacy Policy, most only gave ‘examples’ of data.

So, it’s likely these aren’t a complete list of what data is collected and just what online shopping platforms decided to disclose.

The Black Friday sites that can compromise your online privacy

Overall, the experts discovered Amazon to be the site with the most points of data collected.

Amazon is host to one of the biggest Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for shoppers to take advantage of. In fact, the e-retailer offers an entire week dedicated to online savings.

The online retailer took $221.60 billion of worldwide revenue in the first six months of 2021, alone.

However, the experts discovered that the cash is not the only valuable thing Amazon managed to take from shoppers - after the website was found to be responsible for collecting 60 different pieces of personal information.

These pieces of data range from the basics of name, address and phone number to Alexa voice recordings, friend’s emails and even credit history information from credit bureaus.

Shoppers may be looking to upgrade their homes and tech this Black Friday. However, AO’s sales do come with a catch. The research found that the site is responsible for collecting 38 elements of a shopper's private information. These happen to range from what most would expect, down to a shopper’s preference, including both the size of your family and how affluent you are.

John Lewis’ website was found to be the retailer that takes the third largest amount of data from its visitors. Collecting 31 elements, John Lewis will gather your social media handle, clothing size and identification documents.

Here's What Kind of Personal Data Do Online Shopping Sites Collect?

VPNOverview also looked at Currys’ Privacy Policy, revealing what shoppers can expect to happen to their data if they indulge in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

The homeware appliance and technology store was found to be collecting 29 pieces of information from their customers. The most notable were the subscription services of shoppers as well as their financial position. They were even discovered to be collecting the date and time of texts and calls shoppers receive on their network - as well as their location at the time they take place.

ASOS was found to be in the top five of collecting the most data on its customers. The research by the experts found the clothing site collecting basic information on its shoppers. However, ASOS was also discovered to be recording shoppers’ body shape and size, their screen name, as well as saved items and past purchases.

But should you be worried about data collection?

VPNOverview clarified that some of these collections of data are necessary - especially if shoppers expect the site to function properly.

However, when sites begin collecting personal information that shoppers would probably prefer to keep to themselves.

To help shoppers minimize the amount of data that websites are collecting on them, experts recommend the following three tips:

Surf Anonymously Online - Activate your browser’s anonymous mode and relax knowing that your saved data is nowhere to be found. But have your card information handy as there won’t be any quick checkout options like this.

Delete Third-Party Cookies - Third party cookies are used to track your activity between sites, so don’t just check ‘allow all cookies’. Read it through properly and know what you’re signing up for. But don’t worry as it shouldn't be a problem for too long, as huge companies are phasing out third party cookies, including Google and Apple.

Use a VPN - Of course, we suggest downloading a VPN to your computer. They have many benefits, including protecting your personal information.

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