Cyber Monday - Tips for shopping safely online
As I was listening to the radio news on my way to work, I learned about the new online shopping day now termed as "Cyber Monday". The growth and convenience factors related to the Internet have made the first Monday after Thanksgiving a very large day for online orders (e.g., 11/27/2006 this year). In fact, it was the 2nd largest online shopping day of all last season (i.e., 12/12/2005 was the largest).
One reason is that many folks return back to work and put the companies high-speed Internet facilities to work (e.g., some folks may not have Internet at home, they may be on dial-up, or they may even have some idle time on their hands, etc). Just as shoppers must lock their cars and hide purchases in their trunks, they must also be careful during Cyber Monday or any other time they choose to shop online.
Some safety tips include:
1. Does your employer permit this? -- Hopefully, most employees will recognize that employers have a right to monitor all Internet activities conducted on business equipment. However, some employers permit some personal use during lunch, breaks, or after hours. Users should check IT policies or with their supervisors if they are unsure on corporate usage policies. They should carefully use this business resource and not allow "Cyber Monday" to become grounds for "Layoff Tuesday"
2. Always "Think before you click" -- Be careful with email links or URLs returned via a website search. Phishing attacks are disquised sites that look like the real e-commerce site, but they are designed to capture your credit card or account information for fraudulent misuse. These types of sites are abundant and often referenced in spam email. Always go in by the parent site to find products or services. Be careful and avoid clicking on ads in web pages. Remember that a complete stranger on the Internet doesn't truly want to give you anything. More information on phishing attacks can be found at www.castlecops.com
3. Conduct e-commerce with mainstream sites that use secure server technology. Never shop by email or other untrusted conventions. Research human contact or return policies, so that you can resolve issues quickly.
4. Use a true credit card, rather than a bank debit card as better fraud protection is present
5. Maintain your privacy at all times. Only provide information once you're certain the information can be trusted. Also ensure your system is free of any malware.
Cyber Monday - Home Page
Cyber Monday - FAQs
Cyber Monday Frequently Asked Questions
• Is Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day of the year?
• Was Cyber Monday “made up?”
• Why are you encouraging consumers to shop through CyberMonday.com?
• How big was Cyber Monday last year?
• How are retailers encouraging people to shop online this year?
• Do retailers get upset when consumers shop online rather than in stores?
• Where can I find more information about the holiday season?
Stay Safe while shopping online (a few sites found in a quick search)