After sharing some Black Friday online shopping tips, guess what we have next? That’s right! We’re talking about Cyber Monday. However, since this special day also shows a big rise in scammers, we’re adding Cyber Monday security tips into the mix.
- What is Cyber Monday?
- What to expect on Cyber Monday?
- Cyber Monday Security Tips
- #1 – Shop from your own computer or device
- #2 – Look for the https lock symbol
- #3 – Register with websites ahead of time
- #4 – Create unique passwords for each site
- #5 – Beware of bad links and apps
- #6 – Shop from the official store app instead of mobile browsers
- #7 – Download from the iTunes or Google Play store only
- #8 – If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is
- #9 – Keep your order confirmations and receipts in one place
- #10 – Monitor your bank statements as you go
- Summing Up
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the next best exciting shopping day after Black Friday. It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving in the US. Marketers coined the term out of people shopping online on their computers as they got back to work.
What makes Cyber Monday special are the online deals offered by small brands that are usually unable to compete on equal footing with big companies. This special date sees amazing deals on technology and data storage. Also big are clothing and shoes.
What to expect on Cyber Monday?
Expect really good online deals. However, because of its online platform, the risks of shopping have also gotten more and more serious. Cybercriminals have taken to taking advantage of this one big day for ecommerce.
Cyber Monday Security Tips
Here are some tips to help you shop on Cyber Monday with more peace of mind:
#1 – Shop from your own computer or device
Shopping online means you’ll be inputting your credit card and payment details. As much as possible, use your own devices when making online purchases. If you use public computers or computers at work, you run the risk of exposing yourself to malware and other information-capturing software.
Use the same precautions with internet connections.
#2 – Look for the https lock symbol
Secure ecommerce websites will ALWAYS have “https” in the URL and the lock symbol. Google has made it so that when you try to access a non-https site, you are immediately warned that you are entering an unsecure site. Do not push through with a purchase if the website you are on does not have the https lock symbol.
#3 – Register with websites ahead of time
In the online shopping tips we previously shared, one of our advice was to determine in advance what websites you’ll be shopping on. Register early to minimize the risk of getting registered or redirected to fake mirror websites that unscrupulous cybercriminals set up during Cyber Monday. Don’t wait till the last minute to register.
Also, beware in registering with little-known ecommerce websites as the security on these sites may be lower compared to big brands.
#4 – Create unique passwords for each site
Universal passwords are super convenient. However, you’re putting yourself at risk when you use the same passwords for many websites. If a hacker gets ahold of your password in one website, your other accounts would be similarly vulnerable to attack. To avoid this, create complex and unique passwords whenever you register.
Here’s a hack. Create a memorable sentence and get the first letters.
My first son was born in 98.
Then, apply the password hack in the photo above to create different variations for each site.
Cyberciminals create thousands of fake websites and phone apps to scam poor unsuspecting consumers. Thus, always make sure that you are on the website’s official website or mobile app.
Red flags that you are on a fake site include bad UI, buttons that are not working, or unusual extensions. (A .com extension becomes .co upon closer inspection)
#6 – Shop from the official store app instead of mobile browsers
If you’ve noticed, mobile browsers sometimes don’t show the URLs of the sites you’re giving up your payment information to. To protect your credit card info, choose the store’s official app if you’re using your mobile phone to purchase and avoid your phone’s browser.
#7 – Download from the iTunes or Google Play store only
Hackers create download buttons in bad websites, fake emails, and other internet pages. Never download any application from any site other than the Apple iTunes store or the Google Play store, whichever your device.
If you download from other sources, you run the risk of downloading a fake app created to capture your identity and credit card details.
#8 – If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is
Cybercriminals are successful in their efforts because they play to the greed of consumers. They offer unbelievable deals and the lowest discounts.
If you come across any deal that just seems too good to be true, raise a red flag. Inspect the website you’re on and the links you have to click. They’ll usually try to send an email or a text message with a super tempting deal.
#9 – Keep your order confirmations and receipts in one place
The beauty of online shopping is that you get email notifications of all your purchases from shipping info to actual e-receipts. In the case of kerfuffles, designate only one email address that these will get sent to. If possible, create a specific label or folder for these mails.
#10 – Monitor your bank statements as you go
As you shop, check the debits on your credit card or bank statements. (Ahh, the beauty of online banking.) Just make sure that you are using a secure connection, as always. This way, you’ll be instantly alerted if you see an unfamiliar purchase or a transaction that doesn’t match your receipts.
How does the former happen? Malware-infected credit card readers, compromised websites, or even dishonest cashiers may be the culprits.
Shopping at home in the comfort of your jammies is fun and convenient. Shop with confidence by applying these simple tips that we’ve shared. If you want more shopping hacks rather than security tips, check out our Black Friday online shopping tips. They’re applicable for any online shopping experience.
Happy shopping, everyone!