Cyber Monday is upon us once again! With all the specials, buy-one-get-ones and limited time offers it is by far the busiest and most profitable online shopping day of the year bringing in over 1.5 billion dollars! That being said, it is also a great opportunity for scammers to get to your most valuable information. Just like consumer sales, the amount of scams online this year is likely to increase as well.
Below are a 5 quick online safety tips that will make your cyber monday shopping a safer experience:
1. Be sure Your Shopping Site Is Secure
This one is a must. If the site you’re about to checkout on doesn’t display “https” (emphasis on the S) then get the heck out of there. Make sure you only enter financials on “https” NOT “http”
2. Use a Private Wi-Fi Connection
I’m sure we are all guilty of making online purchases via wi-fi at our local Starbucks or college campus but on cyber Monday be cautious of where you choose to connect. Make sure you have a private wi-fi connection as opposed to a free wi-fi service (like at Starbucks), which could make your information vulnerable.
3. Go Credit, Not Debit
When someone steals your credit it is bad, but you are actually better protected by your card company. There are different levels of security for debit verses credit, so check with your banker if you are going to be using debit – in case you become a victim.
4. Say No To Pop-up Ads
Tempting aren’t they? Pop-up ads are actually the biggest trap for online shoppers. Many shoppers do not even read them, especially if they display a major savings deal or offer money. Be careful. Pop-ads are often security threats for your information and your computer. Unless you are 100% sure, don’t click!
5. Don’t Click Email Ad Links
If you check your inbox today it’s probably swarming with Cyber Monday sales, alongside extended Black Friday deals and Pre-Holiday Specials. Whether or not you are familiar with the company sending you the link or not, it is recommended that you directly type the website’s url into your browser instead of clicking within the email. Sometimes there is viruses of in these links or it can take you to a duplicate copy website designed to steal your information at checkout. Play it safe and type it in.
These are only basic a safety tips, but also make sure you are using strong passwords, have updated spyware and anti-virus software, beware of fake charity websites and if shopping on your mobile phone or device make, sure you allow time outs incase you should lose or be away from your phone. Happy Shopping!