Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a Cyber Monday press event that was put together by Global Influence and Resourceful Mommy Media. The event included Scott Silverman from the National Retail Federation and Shop.org and Beth Jordan of AVG.
Did you know that 42% of Americans will buy at least one gift online this holiday season. Online sales are expected to increase about eight percent this holiday season while overall retail sales are expected to fall one percent. Why do people shop online?
- you have the ability to shop at all hours of the day
- it’s so much easier to compare prices
- in today’s competitive retail climate, you can often get free shipping
- it’s very convenient
- you can avoid the crowds
- it’s easier to find items you want
Here are some of the great tips that will make your on-line experience a safe and pleasant one:
- Be sure to shop on reputable, trust-worthy sites such as CyberMonday.com and its retail partner. Know who you are dealing with and make sure you can confirm the on-line seller’s physical address.
- Just as you’re more careful when shopping in busy malls during the holiday, be more careful online as well (you wouldn’t leave your purse unattended in a mall, would you?)
- Make sure you have a virus protection program and firewall. You should also have a link scan program that keeps you from clicking on infected sites. AVG offers free downloads of virus scan and link scan. This is a REAL TIME link scanner that will not slow down your computer.
- Do you research before you buy–know exactly what you are buying by reading the seller’s description of the product; know what it will cost by factoring in any shipping and handling or any other associated costs; understand the terms of the deal including return policies, refund policies and delivery dates.
- Always PRINT AND SAVE a copy of all of your on-line transaction.
Tips When Shopping On-Line
- When you’re on a site, look for the “S” for Security: Make sure the sites you are shopping from are secure and have “HTTPS” in the URL. The “S” ensures security. Also, look for the padlock symbol and research shopping sites at locations such as Shopzilla and Price Grabber.
- Stay Current on Security Software: Make sure you have the latest virus protection software updates from your provider before you start your holiday shopping.
- Think Before You Link: Employ a URL scanning tool to ensure you’re not clicking on links that lead to infected websites. Get a FREE tool.
- Keep Your Private Information Private: Make sure you keep your personal information private. Create a separate e-mail account just for shopping and use a unique password. Keep records of your online shopping by printing confirmation pages and e-mail confirmations.
- Mix Up Your Passwords: Each e-mail, bank, credit card account should have a unique password. Write them down and store them in a secure location.
- Check your bank accounts daily. This is so easy to do on-line and if there is a problem, you will know almost immediately.
- Use a virtual credit card number if your bank offers this service. If not, use a regular credit card (not a debit card). Federal law limits your liability of $50 if someone steals your card and uses it.
- Don’t use your mobile phone to make purchases. Use a more secure device from home.
What to do if you have problems
- Contact the Attorney General in your state
- Contact the consumer protection agency in your state
- File a claim with the Better Business Bureau
- Contact the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
When shopping on-line, check out CyberMonday.com. They aggregate the best deals from their 600 retail partners, all on one site.
- deals of the hour on Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be found at CyberMonday.com
- you can find sites offering free shipping by choosing “free shipping offers” on the top right of the site
- the site also contains a “Deal of the Week,” special offers, and coupons
Stay up to Date
To help you stay up to date on new information regarding online shopping safety and deals this holiday season I would highly recommend doing the following:
- find safe shopping tips with links to AVG downloads at Shop.org.
- shop www.cybermonday.com for the best deals online
- download AVG free link scanning software.
- follow AVG on Twitter
- follow CyberMonday.com on Twitter
- become a fan of AVG on Facebook
- become a fan of CyberMonday.com on a href=”http://www.facebook.com/shopcybermonday” target=”top”>Facebook