Cyber Monday—the Monday after Thanksgiving—has officially replaced Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—as the most popular day to shop for the holidays. Shopping online means avoiding the crowds, but it also opens the buyer up to attacks from scammers and hackers. In order to fight these online grinches, the Better Business Bureau recommends 10 tips for staying safe when holiday shopping online.
Every year, more people head online rather than to the mall to get their holiday shopping done. According to a preliminary shopping survey, conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch, up to 152 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), higher than the 138 million people who planned to do so last year.
According to the survey, 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores and another 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds.
BBB suggests taking the necessary precautions to avoid fraudulent websites, scammers, and other Grinches who would love to ruin your holidays. BBB recommends the following top 10 tips for shopping online this holiday season to help fight unscrupulous online retailers, scammers and hackers:
1. Protect your computer – A computer should always have the most recent updates installed for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a secure firewall.
2. Shop on trustworthy websites – Shoppers should start with 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.