Columbus, OH (November 21, 2017) – Cyber Monday is celebrated the Monday after Thanksgiving and it’s a great time for consumers to find online shopping deals for their holiday wish lists without the crowds that Black Friday brings. Since shoppers are purchasing gifts online from the comfort of home during Cyber Monday, BBB wants to remind consumers of ways to shop safe and protect all personal information.
In 2016, Cyber Monday achieved a new record with $3.45 billion spent online. 47% percent of all website visits came from mobile devices — mostly smartphones — and contributed to 31 percent of sales, while desktop computers accounted for 69 percent.
When shopping online, it’s important to remember to do your research and shop securely. Below are some tips from BBB to help make your Cyber Monday a safe and successful one.
Make Sure Your Family Shops Safe
Parental control: There is software you can install on your kids’ and teens’ computers and mobile devices to limit the websites they can access.
Hackers like kids IDs: Since kids and teens usually have good credit, hackers are always on the lookout for their information. This can allow hackers to obtain credit cards and more in your child’s name. Talk to your family about the importance of not giving out personal information in soliciting emails or social media.
Looking out for scams: Young people tend to shop based on what their peers or celebrities are wearing or using. Scammers will try to lure them to click on links such as “free Kylie products,” “free concerts,” “free game” and more. If it’s too good to be true, do not click.
HTTP and HTTPS: Before sending any personal and sensitive information, make sure the website has “https://” at the beginning of its web address. The “S” at the end of HTTPS indicates that the website is secure because it is encrypted, which makes it safe to enter credit card or other personal information.
Mobile Security: With so many shoppers using their mobile devices to research and make purchases, it’s important to have a secure device. Be sure you’re using the recently updated version of apps and operating system on the phone. Also, actively manage your location services, Bluetooth, microphone and camera to make sure the apps are using them appropriately.
Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi is vulnerable to thieves and fraudsters looking to steal your info. When in stores or restaurants, avoid using banking or other apps that access sensitive personal information.
Email Phishing: With all the promotional emails received during the holidays, scammers will be out in full force. It’s best not to click on links from senders you don’t recognize. You can also hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is really taking you to where it says it is. Also, check the reply email address. The address should be on a company domain. Watch out for look-alike domains as well.
Interest-Based Advertising: As you browse the web or use your favorite store’s app, you might notice ads personalized to you, sometimes based on your previous web searches. This is called Interest-Based Advertising, which is often signaled by Ad Choices in the corners of ads. If you want to opt out of receiving this type of advertising, download the AppChoices app or visit youradchoices.com.
Back-up Your Data: Have an online backup option in case your device is attacked by hackers. You do not want to lose all your family’s information and memories.
Consumers can visit BBB’s Holiday Helper for tips and resources to help you through the holiday shopping season!
For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.