Beware the Wiles of Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday - online shopping

After Black Friday, comes one of the largest shopping days not only of the holiday season, but indeed of the entire year!

Cyber Monday boasts some of the greatest bargains around and even though retailers have spread their sales out over the entire month of November to try and be the first to acquire the sought after cyber consumers income, it is still an event to behold given that many shoppers prefer to skip the intense crowds and chaos of Black Friday. Forbes predicts that this year the holiday season will rake in over $90 billion with a capital "B" via online shopping. Of course, with that kind of money and data being passed around, the cyber criminals the world over are preparing for one of their biggest days as well. So we are here to bring you up to speed on how to avoid the most common problems holiday cyber shoppers run into, as well as ensure you have a successful Cyber Monday!

Link Bait

The oldest trick in the book, and to this day one of the most effective schemes hackers use to scam the innocent masses is to send them emails containing rather guileful links promising offers that border on the impossible. What one needs to understand is that those deals are most likely very much impossible, and are in fact a scam. Even in the instance that the link seemingly originates from a legitimate website you should proceed with great caution. Clicking on links such as these can have your data being stolen in minutes. A quick way to counter this malicious trap is to search the web for the deal detailed in the email. If you cannot find any information on it then its best to delete the email and carry on with your shopping and subsequently malware free life. PaypPal recommends that its users choose a strong password which won't easily be guessed or cracked, as well as updating your Internet browser to the latest versions possible. The newer web browsers like Internet Explorer 8 or Google Chrome allow for much stronger security controls; of course it is always good practice to have up to date anti-malware software on your laptop or PC.

Buyer Beware

With legitimate vendors offering up sales to the tune of 50% off, it may be getting more difficult to discern the cyber steals from the cyber criminals looking to steal from you. You should stick to brands and websites you trust and are familiar with. Cyber consumers may be inclined to seek out the best they can find which is understandable, but sometimes it is more difficult to see that you have entered the wrong side of the online tracks versus shopping in the real world. This particular issue continues to become more challenging due to the increase of tech savvy criminals having graphic design skills. Even the more knowledgeable cyber consumers should shop with a sharp eye. According to Trend Micro some of the other common threats we will face during this holiday shopping season, in addition to the deals which are just too good to be true, are fraudulent charities, and e-cards which can be used to infect your PC. Shoppers should also be aware of the increasing trend of fake reviews, counterfeit goods, and the fact that shopping via mobile device can add an extra layer of risk given that the security measures largely used in todays latest Internet browsers may not be supported on your device.

In the end, Cyber Monday which will be the 28th of November, will most likely be the single largest shopping event this year. Adobe Digital Insights has even said "it is expected to be the largest online shopping day in history", so undoubtedly many will come away with great deals and fantastic savings. Online retailers encourage you to sieze the opportunity and take advantage of the internet to skip the long lines and stress of the malls and department stores. We want to remind everone to be cautious and smart about where you search, shop and use your credit cards! With keen eyes and common sense everyone will get through this season without a hitch and we can all look forward to the new year!