The popularity of Black Friday sales, the increase in online consumer shopping, and a savvy marketing agency all gave birth to Cyber Monday back in 2005 as a way to extend the post-Thanksgiving buying frenzy.
Shoppers responded quickly, adopting the online cyber deals offered the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday sales have steadily increased since then, hitting a record high of $6.59 billion in 2017.
This year people are as excited as ever about the upcoming online holiday sales, but there are some essential safety tips you need to know before you click “buy”.
Magnify247.com is on high alert in the days following Cyber Monday, because unfortunately some people get a little too enthusiastic to grab a quick deal and end up with a computer virus from an unsafe site. As part of our computer support services in Cicero, IN, we provide both virus removal and cyber safety training.
Shopping online can get you through your Christmas list in an afternoon and knowing what to watch out for can ensure a safe and secure experience.
Before you shop online Monday, November 26th, read our essential tips to stay safe.
Shop Safely on Cyber Monday by Following these 7 Tips
Most people tend to be careful when giving their payment information online, but there’s something about the mad rush of Cyber Monday that has some shoppers throwing caution to the wind to get a luxury handbag for 50% off before it’s sold out.
More people shopped exclusively online during Black Friday/Cyber Monday than exclusively in stores last year. (Pixlee)
The Magnify247.com team at our Cicero computer repair shop put together our best Cyber Monday safe shopping tips to help you shop safely this holiday season.
- Look for the HTTPS
It’s important to make sure you’re shopping on a secure site and that means it should have a lock icon next to the address in your browser bar and the URL should begin with “https://” not just http. The “S” is very important because it indicates that you’re shopping a secure site that is encrypted using Transport Layer Security. If you only see “http://” without the “S” your credit card information will not be secure if you shop there.
- Beware of the “Too Good to Be True” Deal
Advertisements will be coming at you from websites, social media sites, by email and through mobile apps. Don’t let a deal that sounds too good to be true trick you into clicking through an ad or popup to a malicious site infected with malware.
- Search Deals on Retailers’ Websites
If you use a search engine to find Cyber Monday deals, there’s a good chance that a smart scammer will have a link coming up on the first page to lead you to a less than legit site. It’s better to search for deals directly on retailer websites you know you can trust.
- Remove Saved Credit Cards After You Checkout
Unfortunately, data breaches of large retailers and their saved customer details aren’t going anywhere. Large stores like Target have been victims in the past. While it may be convenient to save your credit card on sites you frequent, it’s safer to delete any saved card details after you finish checking out.
- Use Credit or Pre-paid Debit Cards
It’s safer to use either a pre-paid debit card or credit card when you shop Cyber Monday. That way, if there is either a malicious charge or a store’s system has a glitch that causes double charges, you’re not out the cash you need in your main checking account while things are getting sorted out.
- Use Unique Logins on Each Site
Yes, it’s a pain to have to remember a different password on each shopping site, but it’s much safer. If a criminal gets your login from a breach of one retailer’s records, they’re going to try it on multiple other sites to see if they can get in, so using different passwords is an easy safeguard.
- Only Download Apps from an Official App Store
Scam shopping apps can contain malware that tries to get access to mobile wallet accounts. Don’t download an app from a website or QR code, instead only download apps from Apple’s iTunes store or the Google Play store.
Need Some Tech Help this Holiday Season?
Are you planning to gift a loved one with a technology gadget this Christmas or Hanukkah? Bring it on down to our Cicero, Indiana shop first, and we’ll be happy to get it all set up and personalized for the recipient. We can also advise you on the best tech to buy for a senior or teen.