Take precautions when shopping online.
Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, has become the biggest online retail shopping day of the year. In 2012, Cyber Monday shoppers racked up $1.46 billion in sales, a new online record, according to comScore. Because of the explosive growth each year in online holiday sales, shoppers need to be extremely diligent in making digital purchases. Scammers with fake websites and emails are lurking out there to separate you from your money. Your identity is also at risk.
Remember that online shopping will never be completely safe. Pay attention to the following cyber shopping tips from the FBI (www.fbi.gov).
- Beware of unsolicited (spam) emails. Don’t respond, and don’t click on any links within an unsolicited email.
- Compare the link in the email with the URL (website address) to which you are directed and determine if they match and lead you to a legitimate website.
- Log directly onto a retailer’s website for the business identified in the email, instead of following the link or calling a phone number in an unsolicited email. If the email appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer or other company you deal with, your statements and correspondence may provide proper contact information.
- Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask you to provide or confirm personal or financial information.
The Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/) has the following tips to help you stay cyber safe when shopping online this holiday season.
- Protect your computer by installing the most recent updates for spam filters, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall security.
- Shop on trustworthy sites. Check the BBB’s website for the seller’s reputation and record for customer satisfaction.
- Confirm your online purchase is secure – Before paying, look in the address box for an “s” in the https:// (not just http://) and in the lower right corner of the screen for the “lock” icon. If in doubt, right click anywhere on the web page and select “properties.” This will let you see the URL and whether it’s encrypted.
- Pay …read more
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