By Viktoria Sciacca
For those who would rather spend their day shopping in the comfort of their own home, Cyber Monday is the perfect alternative to Black Friday.
Cyber Monday kicked off today over the Web with unbelievable discounts and sales. There is a projected $2.6 billion revenue in sales for today, according to Adobe.
“Most people prefer online shopping sales rather than dealing with the hustle and bustle of Black Friday craziness,” said Taylor Ferri, Public Relations Manager for Evangeline PR and online shopping expert. Arrests and injuries on Friday in the UK were a result of the violent extent people would go for a great deal.
Experts suggest online shopping as a safer route for holiday sales. “People love convenience, it’s as simple as that,” said Ferri.
“Who doesn’t love to shop from the comfort of their couch or while sitting at a Starbucks? I know I do. Most importantly, you save money, time, and can avoid the crazy sea of people on days like Black Friday (or any other day).”
Although online shoppers may be busy hitting the web, hackers will be just as busy raiding their pockets via online.
“Trusted retailer sites with a safe reputation are harder to hack than unknown starter sites,” said Ferri.
Trusted retailers can also limit someone’s risk of credit being hacked because they have a series of money exchange that prevent security flaws.
Top (Trusted) Cyber Monday Websites
Amazon: Online retailer majoring in electronics an items for the home. Ongoing deals all week starting today.
ASOS: Worldwide retailer in clothing and accessories with free delivery to over 240 countries.
Future Shop: Cyber Monday deals on electronics.
Indigo: Not just for books, this site offers deals on home, baby and gifts.
Walmart: A great resource for Christmas gifts of any age.
VistaPrint: Customizable logo site, up to 60 per cent off sitewide!
Although these websites may provide the most secure way to shop, users are still vulnerable to security breaches. Ferri offers these tips to ensure secure online shopping:
Secure Shopping Tips
- Register for a PayPal account, there are so many online shopping and consumer safeguards in place.
- Never send an email money transfer to merchants outside of PayPal or a secure network.
- Use different passwords for each new shopping cart you create. If you can’t remember them all, and I can’t, register for password manager like LastPass.
- When browsing new sites, look for reviews.
- Be wary of deals that seem “too good to be true” as some times, they are. Be sure to go through the invoice and receipt for any added fees.
- Demand online receipts via email or screenshot and save all transactions.
- Use URL addresses that begin with shttp or https, this means the address is encrypted or secured.
While some tech-savvy users transfer to mobile, there are new opposing threats with apps that have malicious spyware called ‘malware’. Because phone applications have become increasingly popular within the past five years, they are more susceptible to cyber-criminals.
In a 2010 press release by the mobile security team Lookout, CEO John Hering said “people will be doing more with their phones than ever before.”
The press release shows tips on how to stay safe for the holiday season as people resort to online shopping mobile:
- “Download updates for your phone”, because software updates will fix security flaws.
- Only download apps from trusted sites.
- Limit social networking, email and only “window shop” when using public Wi-Fi.
- Only use credit card information on a site that begins with “http”
Downloading the Lookout application on your phone will also prevent security threats online.
Websites will also be holding Cyber Week sales throughout for those unable to shop on Cyber Monday.