4 Tips for Cyber Monday and Beyond

Shop on sites that you are familiar with.

How close are you to finding the perfect gift for that special someone on your Christmas list? With people taking advantage of ‘Cyber Monday’ in droves, you’ll need to know how to stay safe while shopping online. These four tips should help you stay on course.

Searching and Finding

It’s an unfortunate part of life, but thieves are waiting to steal your personal information while you are shopping online. Fortunately, you can do your part by staying alert to these predators.

1. Any time, but especially the holidays, the masses are inundated with Web site offers. A word of caution: When shopping online, make sure to only purchase from reputable sites because they can offer security when it comes to safeguarding your private information. For example, check for the lock icon or other indication in the address bar (such as “https:”) to ensure that the site uses a secure connection.

2. Many wish they can click one and be done, but doing so is not without its risks. If you search for an item or company name through a search engine site, scrutinize the results listed before going to a Web site. And, never automatically click on the first result, even if it looks identical or similar to the desired result. Those looking to swindle you may have their own Web site appear ahead of a legitimate company on popular search engines. How do they do this? Their Web site may be a duplicated version of a popular Web site, but with a different Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

3. There are way too may Web sites on the Internet to sift through all of them. Consumers are often shown specials on the Web that look too good to be true and actually are. Why should I avoid these sites? They are used to capture personally identifiable information (PII), including credit card numbers, addresses and phone numbers to make fraudulent transactions.

4. Though you may be extremely busy, take your time when searching for online items. If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, exercise caution, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to prompt you to act quickly. Once you submit your personal information it’s too late to take it back.

Checking your List

Never make defrauding you while shopping online easy for criminals. The best way to do this is by being aware and by following your intuition.

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-Kimberly Williams

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