Cyber Monday Tips to Keep Your Account Safe

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Now that Black Friday was here and gone, today shoppers are taking to computer screens instead of the mall.

Cyber Monday is just for one day, but shoppers should still be careful with what sites they visit.

Today is the biggest online shopping day of the year, and while you might be able to score some great deals, just know that scammers are out there waiting to snatch up your personal information.

Shoppers say Cyber Monday might be better than Black Friday - great deals, no lines and the comfort of shopping from your own home.

Benna Wasson sometimes shops online for make-up, and understands why so many people do it on this particular day.

"Online shopping is great, it really is, and it's the best way to do it if you don't want to get in the crowds," she said.

Kelsey Huffman was at the Topeka Public Library today, shopping online on her laptop. She looked for items that many people are looking for today.

"Movies, CD's and car accessories. And a whole bunch of different stuff like that," Huffman said.

Among the plethora of goodies waiting for you in cyber space, be aware of the downsides.

"The cons? I think you spend too much money and you forget about shipping and handling. It's too much information," Wasson added.

Online shopping can be really fun, but there are a lot of things to keep in mind to keep your back account safe.

In all the discount madness, you might stumble upon unsafe sites that offer outrageously low prices, but end up taking more than you bargained for.

David King is the Digital Services Director at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and said people often enter their information on fake websites

"They'll make a site that looks nice and professional, but it's a scam site and they're aksing for all that information that you would never give out normally," he said.

Typically something to look out for would be a website asking for a social security number.

"They use websites that look familiar but are different, so instead of ebay.com, the next key over is a V so it might be evay.com," King added. "If you're not sure about the site you can check it out or go to a better business bureau type website or just see if other people have complained about the website."

King said stick with known sites like bestbuy.com or amazon.com.

"I only shop sites that I know and that I've used before and haven't had any problems with," Huffman said. "Make sure it's a credible site and not go to these off-the-wall sites that nobody's ever heard of before."

Also look at the user ratings to gauge how the product works and if it's worth the money.

So before you enter that credit card number remember a word of advice from King:

"If it looks too good to be true, it really probably is."

Experts say these tips hold true not only for Cyber Monday, but in all your future online shopping endeavors.

Other tips to remember:

Go to websites with "https" in the front - the "S" means its secure.
Print all receipts and confirmation numbers for your safekeeping.
You're better off shopping with a credit card than a debit card because credit cards usually have built-in identity theft protection.
Shop from an actual computer rather than your mobile device.


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