Tips for Safe Online Shopping on Cyber Monday and Through the Holiday Season
November 26, 2012
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If you would prefer to do your holiday shopping from the comforts of home, rather than waking up at the crack of dawn and battling hordes of people, then today’s Cyber Monday is definitely your kind of day.
While Black Friday offered tons of fantastic deals, you can score just as big and save just as much on Cyber Monday deals. (And don’t forget to use this round-up of great holiday shopping apps throughout the season!)
Of course, when it comes to shopping online, which requires inputting your personal and financial details, there are a lot of things to be wary of to ensure that you information is protected. With this Cyber Monday expected to be the biggest online (and mobile) shopping day yet, it is a prime opportunity for sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals to create fake deals that seem too good to pass up.
Here are a 10 helpful tips for Cyber Monday shoppers from Trend Micro that will help keep your online purchases and your information secure:
1. Go with What You Know – Bookmark reliable online shopping site as search engines like Google can lead you to malicious sites. (Top 3 e-commerce sites – eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba.com)
2. Go with Your Instinct – Ignore suspicious emails and spam offering huge discounts and bargains as they may contain malicious links and file attachments.
3. If it’s Too Good to Be True It Usually Is – Spam and online ads that offer mind-boggling promos and discounts can lead to web threats.
4. Double, Triple Confirm – Check a payment site’s URL – Phishers trick users into giving out personal information via spoofed pages. One of the most commonly phished sites is eBay.
5. Tried and True – Use reliable security software that helps you avoid visiting comprised sites.
6. Buyer Beware – Never use a payment method that does not offer any kind of buyer protection. Wire transfers and money orders are therefore off the table as there is no way of getting your money back. Pay with a credit card as it offers better protection.
7. Keep it Private – Don’t shop in a public “hot spot” or in places with unsecure networks. Limit online shopping to when you are at home, this assures uninterrupted and safe sessions.
8. Spot the Obvious – Legitimate banking or e-commerce sites’ URLs usually begin with https not http. The padlock icon at the lower right or near the address bar (depending on your browser) is also a good indicator of site’s security.
9. Keep Records – Always keep your transaction records to track your online purchases and avoid becoming a victim of online scams and other kinds of fraud.
10. Stay Aware – Stringently check your credit card billing statements to monitor all of your transactions. Immediately report any discrepancies to your bank.
Not only should you heed these tips today, but for any time you are shopping online. While you may be patting yourself on the back for saving a good amount, just make sure that you are also keeping your information protected.
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