Did you brave the crowds for Black Friday shopping? Even if you opted out this year, you can still snag some great deals on holiday gifts and goodies, thanks to the Internet. Cyber Monday is a great day to save big while getting a head start on your Christmas list, but just make sure that you play it safe. Online scams are a real threat. Here are a few tips for avoiding them.
Do Your Homework
There are lots of great new online retailers popping up all the time, but if you’re not familiar with the site or the name of the company, be sure to do your due diligence before making a purchase. Search the company name and read up on other consumers’ experiences. You may be able to learn from their mistakes.
Shop from Home
Be sure that all online purchases are made from a secure network, preferably a password-protected home network. Don’t compromise your financial information by sending it over an unsecured wireless network such as those offered by restaurants, hotels, and the like.
Shop As a Guest
If you shop with a specific retailer frequently, it may be tempting to create an account so that you don’t have to enter your payment and shipping information each time you shop, but this convenience could come with a hefty price. In the event that the site gets hacked, your personal and financial information could be compromised. Why take that risk?
Pay With a Credit Card
Debit cards look similar to credit cards, but they are actually very different, especially when it comes to online transactions. With a credit card, you have some protection if you don’t receive the goods you paid for. This is not the case, however, with a debit card.
10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2427650,00.asp
From Cyber Monday to Christmas Eve: How to Shop Safely Online http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/dec/01/online-christmas-shopping-safe-your-rights
Stay Safe While Shopping Online on Cyber Monday http://www.dhs.gov/blog/2013/11/29/stay-safe-while-shopping-online-cyber-monday