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  • Writer's pictureJM-Simplified

Cyber Monday Safety Tips

The Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, has become one of the top shopping days of the year. In 2018, consumers spent a record-breaking $7.9 billion on online purchases on that day alone.

But online shopping – even on Cyber Monday – has risks. 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.

Here are 10 safety tips for Cyber Monday to help keep you safe:

  • Beware of false advertising. Do not click on a Cyber Monday email if you do not know the sender’s email. This is by far one of the oldest and most successful ways that online scammers get information online from strangers. If you are signed up for your favorite brand’s email list, you are familiar with what their email address looks like – because they value your security, they will not be changing it for Cyber Monday!

  • Shop with brands you know and trust. Stay away from deals that seem too-good-to-be-true. If you see a company you’ve never heard of offering a brand new iPad for 80% off, chances are it is a scam. Stay away from these kinds of sites and deals.

  • 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.

  • Shop with trustworthy sellers on secure sites only. Check a webpage’s security by looking for the lock icon in the URL field, and making sure the URL starts with “https”, not just “http”. The “s” means the site is safer and more secure.

  • Price check before you buy. Dozens of online retailers will claim they have the best price on an item, but their offers can be misleading.  Do your homework by comparing prices. Remember that the best deal may not be the real deal.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Watch out for phishing scams. Busy schedules and increased purchases make 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.

While many of these tips seem like common sense, it is easy to get swept up in the moment when you are in a rush. Following these steps will help keep your shopping trip smooth and quick. From Simplified Insurance Agency to you, stay safe on Black Friday!

Simplified Insurance Agency – Insurance Made Simple!

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