Tips for Safe Cyber Monday Shopping
By the Better Business Bureau
The Monday following Black Friday, known as Cyber Monday, has become one of the top shopping days of the year. Online shopping can come with risks and it's important to be wary of misleading advertisements, lookalike websites, and untrustworthy sellers. The following tips will help you shop online this holiday season, so you can achieve maximum savings while keeping your personal information and hard-earned money secure.
Beware of false advertising and phony websites.
If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for false advertising and keep a close eye on the web address in your browser. Scammers love to create lookalike websites that, at first glance, appear to belong to a trusted retailer. Make sure websites use the correct spelling of a business name and have legitimate contact information and customer service numbers.
Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only.
Be wary of businesses you aren’t familiar with. Check their BBB Business Profile on BBB.org, look at the rating, and read customer reviews. In addition, be sure any web page you purchase from is secure. Secure web addresses begin with "HTTPS" and not just "HTTP". Never put personal or credit card information in forms on non-secure web pages.
Keep your antivirus software up to date.
Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device, and that it is up to date. This will help you to avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams and help keep your personal information safe.
Use your credit card.
It’s always best to make online purchases with your credit card. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. Debit cards don’t offer this same protection. Never make purchases with online sellers by giving them prepaid debit cards or wiring them money.
Understand return policies.
Online store policies may change for Cyber Monday offers. Read the fine print before you buy. Understand the return or exchange policy for the specific item you would like to purchase. Be aware that stores may not allow returns for “final sale” or “closeout” items. Make sure to get gift receipts, so the recipient can return or exchange the item if necessary.
Watch out for phishing scams.
The busy shopping season makes it easier to miss – and fall victim to – a phishing scam. Look out for unsolicited emails, texts, calls, or letters. These messages may claim you have a free gift waiting for you or that there is a problem with a delivery – all you need to do is click on a link or give up your personal information. Avoid phishing scams by ignoring suspicious correspondence and calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION...
Web-Surfing Safety: Security Tips for Surfing the Web
More Cybersecurity Tips: Cybersecurity Tips
How to avoid scams: visit BBB.org/AvoidScams.
For more advice, read BBB’s tips on online shopping.
Source: Better Business Bureau