Cyber Monday is right around the corner and is expected to be bigger than ever. There will be thousands and thousands of online deals available from all the big vendors, and people will be flooding the Internet to get these deals. There will also be thousands of scams from sites and hackers trying to steal your credit info and hack into you computer. You need to have a list of tips that will help you stay safe and secure on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday is the perfect time to pick up all those gifts that you were not able to on Black Friday. With all the deals available, you are sure to find whatever you need to complete your gift list. Here are some tips for staying safe and secure during Cyber Monday. These are provided by the BBB.
1. Protect Your Computer
Make sure your computer has the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a secure firewall.
2. Shop on Trustworthy Websites
Shoppers can start with the BBB to check on the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction. Always look for the BBB seal and other widely-recognized “trustmarks” on retailer websites and click on the seals to confirm that they are valid.
3. Protect Your Personal Information
4. Beware of Deals that Sound too Good to be True
Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end.
5. Beware of Phishing
Legitimate businesses do not send e-mails claiming problems with an order or an account to lure the “buyer” into revealing financial information. If you receive such an e-mail, pick up the phone and call the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.
6. Confirm Your Online Purchase is Secure
Shoppers should always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site, right click anywhere on the page and select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (website address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted.
7. Pay With a Credit Card
It’s best to use a credit card, because under federal law, the shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the card holder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it. Never wire money and only shop locally on sites such as Craigslist.
8. Keep Documentation of Your Order
After completing the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page or the shopper might receive confirmation by e-mail. The BBB recommends saving a copy of the Web page and any e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
9. Check Your Credit Card Statements Often
Don’t wait for paper statements — the BBB recommends consumers check their credit card statements for suspicious activity by either calling credit card companies or by checking statements online regularly.
10. Know Your Rights
Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit.
While Cyber Monday is an exciting time to get amazing deals and not have to wait in a line, there are several things to be aware of. Utilize these tips in order to stay safe and secure on Cyber Monday.
For more information on staying secure, along with thousands of detailed reports from online retailers, please visit http://www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-holiday/.