Cyber Monday: Experts go over the dos and don’ts of the shopping holiday

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(CNN) – If Thanksgiving and Black Friday weren’t enough for some shoppers, retailers are continuing to slash prices on Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is a little easier on shoppers than Black Friday but that doesn’t mean it is a breeze.

“There is so much noise around Cyber Monday and, of course, we’re sitting at home but we have access to millions of websites. My advice would be find a couple of trusted resources, go from there,” said Trae Bodge, with Retailmenot.com.

Bodge says you should always research the sales and then look for coupon codes to use for even deeper discounts.

Special sales may also be available on retailers’ Twitter and Facebook feeds.

“Lots of apparel providers and also consumer electronics and then health and beauty; those are the three categories that I think that will see the deepest discounts on Cyber Monday,” Bodge said.

More than 131 million online shoppers were expected last year.

While it is a big day for retailers and consumers, it is also a big day for scammers.

“They know it’s Cyber Monday. They know that people are out there shopping and they’re gonna do what they can to try and lure you in,” said Michael Kaiser, with the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Recent breaches have put data security in the spotlight for retailers.

Kaiser says consumers must be proactive and take precautions.

“If they take those common sense measures, they update their software, they put in things like two-step verification or multi-factor authentication, those are things that are in their control,” he said.

Shoppers on mobile devices should also consider using cellular data instead of public Wi-Fi for a more secure Internet connection.

Other tips to remember, make sure you are using a secure website. Look for ‘https;//” at the front of the URL or the web address. Many sites will also show an icon or badge indicating there is a secure connection.

Use Strong Passwords. Try to use different passwords for each credit card and website. This can be daunting but there are secure password keepers you can use. You also want to use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and if possible symbols. Do not use common words found in a dictionary or a pet’s name.

Use a credit card versus a debit card. There are generally more safety protocols in place for consumer transactions. You can also use just one credit card for online purchases so if you information is stolen or compromised it is more easily contained. Be sure to check your statements often to keep track of legitimate purchases.

Try not to go to click on offers inside emails. You may have opted in to an email from a store you frequent but sometimes it is best to type the comapny’s URL directly into your browser. And avoid clicking on pop-up ads that come from places you are not familiar with.

You can use these tips during all online purchases and not just on Cyber Monday.

 

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