People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.
The three tips we will cover are:
- How to spot fake shopping websites
- Keep your software updated
- A credit card is safer to use than a debit card
With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.
- Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
- Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
- Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
- Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be firstname.lastname@example.org but email@example.com. Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
- Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.
Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.
We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.
Credit Card vs. Debit Card
The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.
People most often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. They picture themselves snuggled up on the couch in their living room with their laptop and a hot mug of coffee, enjoying the sales in the safety of their own homes. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is taken the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide you with reminders and tips on what to watch for, to assure your safety.
Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day of the year, which makes it the single largest opportunity for criminals to steal money, personal information, and credit card numbers. According to the FBI’s 2013 Internet Crime Report, the average loss for victims in Nebraska was $2,786. The FBI has studied the problem and issued some helpful tips:
- Only shop reputable sites.
- Make sure payment pages are encrypted – start with HTTPS.
- When searching a site, double check the URL of the top-listed sites before clicking. (Criminals have been known to pay for high placements in search results)
It is also advised to take caution when opening certain emails. Make sure not to click on any links or open attachments in any that are unsolicited. It may also be smart to log on to the Websites directly rather than clicking on the links provided in the email.
Cyber Monday is a convenient way to take advantage of great deals and a head start on holiday shopping without the unpleasant winter weather. The biggest tip is just to shop smart and shop cautious. If something seems too good to be true, look into it before entering any personal information. For specific scams to look out for this year, check out the FBI’s website. And if you have any questions or problems with your Internet connection, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. Let us know in the comments below what big deal you are looking to grab this Cyber Monday, and happy shopping!
For those of us who prefer to sleep in after Turkey Day, but still love great deals, Cyber Monday is a dream come true. While some deals still require you to be out of bed in the wee hours, none will demand that you sit outside in the winter or even get out of your pajamas.
To get the most out of Cyber Monday, it helps to be prepared. Fortunately for you, we’ve found some of the best sites to help you find the biggest deals!
Shop.org: This site actually created the term Cyber Monday and still remains as one of the top places to find the largest selection of Cyber Monday deals from across the web.
Offers.com: If Cyber Monday seems a little overwhelming, this site makes finding the right deal easier by separating offers by category. You can search for deals in over 20 categories. The front page also makes it easy to identify gifts for kids or by gender.
Dealtaker.com: Not just for Cyber Monday, this site provides coupons year-round for savings. Check out their blog for some of the bigger weekend deals.
Do you have a favorite deal site with Cyber Monday insider info? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you aren’t one of those people who like to get up before the sun has risen on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the “big deal”, then we have some good news. The Monday after Thanksgiving is full of great online deals that rival Friday’s brick-and-mortar discounts. Called Cyber Monday, November 29 is the Internet’s version of Black Friday and you can find great deals at nearly every major retailer as well as many specialty sites.
If you are going to shop online, here are some tips for making the most of your holiday shopping experience.
Stay safe – The Better Business Bureau has 10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping that we urge everyone to check out. Highlights include shopping only at sites you trust and making sure that you have updated protection for your computer. Click here to learn more about SecureIT from Great Plains Communications.
Get the best deals – Many companies will start to promote their Cyber Monday deals a few days in advance, so make sure to check out your favorite sites to see what they will be offering. Also, if you know that you want a particular item, search it and the term Cyber Monday to see what comes up. This is an easy way to see if your dream items will be offered at big discounts anywhere online.
Pay attention to shipping dates and rates– Cyber Monday is 29 days before Christmas this year, so shipping shouldn’t be an issue. However, it’s important to double check that if items are out-of-stock or on back-order, that they will guarantee to ship before Christmas. When purchasing online, it’s also important to keep the shipping rates in mind as some companies charge so much to ship a larger item that most of your discount is wiped away (though many retailers offer free or hugely discounted shipping on Cyber Monday).
With a little preparation, you can leave the break-of-dawn shopping behind this year or, to score the biggest deals this year, do both! We’d love to hear about your bargains so drop us a comment about your Cyber Monday experiences!