Cyber Monday is Here – Look before you Leap

If you are one of the brave souls who went out Black Friday good for you. For the rest of us, Cyber Monday is here. Cyber Monday is expected to be as popular as Black Friday. While you are taking advantage of deals don’t let thieves take advantage of you.

Follow these 10 tips to keep your shopping day safe and save you from holiday heartache

1. Use a credit card and not debit card
Pay for online purchases with a credit card as opposed to a debit card, wire transfer or other form. Many credit cards have a “zero liability” policy meaning you are not responsible if your card is stolen and purchases are made.

2. Don’t give personal information (salary, age, gender, social security number) online

3. Shop familiar sites
Go to the National Retail Federation’s site, cybermonday.com, for a list of legitimate retailers offering Cyber Monday discounts.

4. Use the same security online as you would at a mall
Use common sense when purchasing online and trust your gut.

5. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is
If you receive an email with an amazing deal, go online and do a search for the deal.

6. Do not use the same password for store sites that you use for your online banking
If you go on a site and your personal information is stolen, chances are a scammer will try to access your personal information.

7. Shop secure sites
Check that the site uses SSL (secure socket layer) security. You can check by making sure the page begins with https:// and not http://.  Also check the bottom of your page as most browsers will show an icon indictaing that the site is secure.

8. Make sure your software is up to date
Use the most recent version of your browser and anti virus software. The combination of the two will protect you from malicious/spam sites and downloads.

9. Don’t touch anything
That’s what my Mom used to say when we went to the mall. The modern day translation is don’t click on email links, sign up for sweepstakes, or sign up for contests.

10. Know the store policies
It is easy to get caught up in a good deal but make sure you know the store’s return policy. Check for the return policy for sale items, if returns are allowed at local stores, shipping and restocking fees, and return times.

Happy Shopping!

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