Nov
27

Shop Safely From Home on Cyber Monday and Beyond

November 27, 2011

Black Friday is over. Small Business Saturday, done. Get ready for Cyber Monday, a day in which you can do your holiday shopping while donning your pajamas at the computer of your Chicago real estate.

Experts are predicting record sales for Cyber Monday and many retailers are offering amazing deals. Of course, that also brings out the scammers and thieves who do their best to bilk unsuspecting shoppers.

Here are some tips for shopping safely online:

young woman in shopping online at home with presents around her*URL it: You are probably getting gobs of holiday offers from websites to your inbox. Don’t ever click from an email to a site in order to make a purchase. Always enter the URL in your web browser and search for the deals advertised. If you can’t find the offer with your fresh search, it could be a scam.

*BBB it: If you found a deal that sounds too good to be true from a retailer new to you, check it out through the Better Business Bureau to be sure the site is accredited by the group. You can also visit CyberMonday.com for legitimate offers put together by the National Retail Federation.

*Check it: Before you make a purchase online, be sure that you are on a secure page. First, the URL should begin with https:// and not http://. That ‘s’ lets you know the site is secure. Also search for the lock icon located in the lower right corner of your browser window. These two symbols mean that the website uses technology that encrypts your personal data.

*Ignore it: When you shop online, sometimes a little window pops up, giving shoppers a chance to “chat live” with a sales representative. This could be a hacker: Never place an order, enter an account number or give any personal information on a live chat.

*Charge it: It’s best to use a credit card for purchases, because under Federal Law, a shopper can dispute the charges if the items paid for aren’t received. If you are really worried about identity theft, consider investing in a prepaid credit card, which will keep your real credit card numbers offline and limit the amount you spend to the amount you set.

Cyber Monday can be a great time to get some awesome deals without having to deal with all the crowds. Just protect yourself first.

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Tracey

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