According to Adobe Digital Index, in 2015 online shoppers filled eCommerce cash registers with more than $5.8 billion in sales over the Black Friday weekend. The biggest single day of online shopping for the whole year is tomorrow - Monday, November 28, 2016. Just how big will it be? The IBM supercomputer Watson predicts a rise of 18% to 20% in Cyber Monday spending this year, to $2.4 billion from $2.0 billion last year. US Today reports that 90% of online shoppers surveyed say low prices are most important to them. 86% say free shipping is next.
Staying Safe on Cyber Monday
First, let’s begin with a reminder of some of the obvious yet still important tips.
Shop from a secure computer and use a secure connection. Always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window when performing an online purchase.
Use trusted vendors. Limiting your shopping to established and trusted vendors also limits your exposure. Bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don't get redirected to fakes.
If you're shopping from a tablet or smartphone on Cyber Monday, use a trusted vendor's app, not a web browser.
Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi. When making Cyber Monday purchases, be sure to shop on secure Wi-Fi at home, not a coffee shop, airport, or other public network.
Use a different password for each account. If you are able to remember your password, it’s probably not a great one. Security experts suggest using complex passwords that include a variety of numbers and characters, or long strings of random words. The majority of internet users have dozens of accounts, making it difficult to remember every password. To keep track, use a password manager or go the old school route and write passwords down on paper to be stored in a safe place.
More Sophisticated Traps
Review credit card and bank statements regularly during the shopping season. Malware can infect credit-card readers in stores, and unscrupulous cashiers often steal card numbers as well. If you find a transaction that doesn't match your purchases, your account may have been compromised. If so, contact your bank or card issuer.
Purchase with Credit Cards, not Debit cards. Since debit cards have direct access to your bank account, you should really avoid using it online. If hackers gain access to this information, they have access to all of your funds.
Change your coffee pot’s password. Connectable devices will be a hot item this holiday season, whether they're coffee pots you can turn on with an app on your phone, a drone or a smart light bulb system. But they're also eminently hackable and most come with laughably easy pre-set passwords that take hackers only a few second to get past. When you're setting up your new gadgets, take the extra five minutes to reset the password they came with, so your device doesn't run the risk of becoming part of someone else's zombie botnet.
Be careful of package delivery notices. Phishing emails that try to get you to click on a link that can install malicious software on your computer are a perennial problem. This year Intel Security says it’s seen an uptick in fake delivery notices. These look like the common email notices sent out when something you’ve ordered online has been shipped. They might say, “Click here for expected delivery date,” except they aren’t from an actual store but instead from hackers.
Take Your Time
One of the best ideas for Cyber Monday is to take your time. When you get in a rush to complete your order that’s when the mistakes can be costly. Review your order, check the information on your order form, and then push that button.
Dean & Draper
Wishing you a fun and successful Cyber Monday. After your shopping is done, please let us know if you have questions about your personal or commercial insurance. We’re ready to talk with you and welcome your call or email. Contact us.
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