Consumers are doing more of their shopping online than ever before, and Cyber Monday tops the charts as being one of the busiest online shopping days. In the midst of all the excitement of getting the best online deals, you must be aware that there are cyber criminals out there eager to take advantage of you. Take a look at Mackoul’s Online Shopping Tips before you start shopping this Cyber Monday.
1) Phishing and Scam Emails – These emails often look like they are coming from a well-known retailer and offer an unbelievable deal. Do not use the link provided in these emails. A safer route is to open your browser and go to the company’s main page to find out if the deal is legitimate. If you still aren’t sure, call the company’s customer service line to find out.
2) Anti-Virus Software – Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. This may be the most obvious tip, but it’s also one of the most important tips. Anti-virus software can help prevent you from going to unsafe sites. You should also check that your browser software is up-to-date.
3) Secure Wi-Fi Connections – Be very careful about what information you enter when you’re using a public internet connection. If you find a great deal while surfing the internet at your local coffee shop, wait until you get home to enter your credit card information.
4) Look for Third-Party Seals – You can often find a third-party seal of approval on the main page of secure shopping websites.
5) Use Secure Sites – Make sure the website you are ordering from is a secure website by using HTTPS pages. Whenever you are providing financial information, take a look at the address bar and make sure the first five letters of the web address say “https” as opposed to just “http”. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and signifies that the information you provide will be secure and encrypted so that it will not be intercepted by a third party.
6) Social Media Offers – We often see gift card offers on social media sites claiming to be from major retailers. These offers can be used to gain access to your social media account and personal information.
While these tips are especially important to remember on Cyber Monday, it’s a good practice to remember to use them for the rest of the year as well!