I have no clue if Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online shopping in the U.S. Some stat says it is while another disputes it. It’s a made-up date anyway thanks to the National Retail Federation. But it is my duty to write blogs like this and make media rounds each year to either hype up this “special” day or warn you about all those nasty, evil cyber criminals lurking to steal your credit card and personal information. Since it is almost impossible to keep an updated list of every online store offering 50% off a kitchen blender or free shipping if you spend $100, I will go with the super hero angle of protecting the world from the bad guys. But feel free to email me if you find a good deal on a pair of black, size 11 Chelsea boots.
Yes this is the most wonderful time of the year but here are a few things to keep in mind before you click the BUY button:
Use a credit card vs. a debit card – Your debit card is linked to your bank account, thus exposing your available funds. By using your credit card there is an added sense of security knowing that you are using borrowed money. If you see or sense something odd with a recent purchase contact your credit card provider and they can dispute the charges.
Don’t save your information – If you frequently shop on a specific website, you probably have an option to save your credit card information. Definitely a convenient and time-saving trick but not the safest thing to do especially if you use a public computer or a device that others can access easily. Suck it up and take the extra minute to enter your information each and every time.
Use a secure connection – We love WiFi but try to avoid making purchases through a public wireless network. It’s not that difficult for cyber criminals (Boo! Hiss!) to hack into that WiFi signal and access your details.
Change your passwords frequently – Blah, blah. How many times have you heard this? JUST DO IT! NOW! Especially when doing frequent online purchases. Changing your passwords often is important, but so is making sure you have strong passwords too. Throw in some characters like $ or % or !.
Update your antivirus – This should happen automatically but check your computer’s software regularly to keep it up-to-date. Don’t forget there is also antivirus software for your mobile phones. Download a copy from either Avast, Trend Micro, or Sophos.
Happy shopping and get out there to find me those boots.