Staying Safe on Cyber Monday

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Cyber Monday Provides Plenty of Deals but Also an Identity Theft Nightmare

It’s the time of the year when shopping goes into overdrive. Black Friday is over, you’ve taken advantage of some deals, but there’s going to be more. A lot more.

Over the past few years Cyber Monday has grown in popularity and is now being run throughout the entire week. In 2013 Cyber Monday had grown to over $1.8 billion in sales and will definitely be up again this year. The amount of money being spent as well as how careless some people are with giving out their information online makes this an attractive time for identity thieves to target consumers.

The Better Business Bureau has a list of things to remember when shopping on Cyber Monday that work well for shopping online in general.

A few of the more important tips are:

  • Purchase merchandise only from reputable sellers.
    • Reputable sellers typically have a history of positive interactions with customers. Make sure the seller you are purchasing from has an SSL which is a certification that encrypts sensitive data between yourself and the seller when transmitting information. The easiest way to see that an SSL is in place is to look at the address. It should begin with HTTPS and include an image of a lock.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau in the seller’s area.
    • This one is easy. If the business has had a lot of problems reported to the BBB they might be too good to be true. Remember, you’re not just shopping for deals, you’re also handing back sensitive information and you want to be able to trust who you give it to. If the seller doesn’t care enough about their reputation do they really care about yours? You can also get a general idea of how well someone does by checking other sources such as Google reviews, or their profiles on Amazon and Ebay if they have one.
  • Use a credit card for purchases rather than a money order or personal check if your credit card company allows you to dispute charges when something goes wrong.
    • This one is important. First of all, it gives you power over your purchases. In addition it is a reminder to not just check what purchases you have made, but to also take a look at your account to see what charges have been made to it.
      This is a practice that is especially important during the holiday season when you might use your credit cards more than usual. Don’t just make a habit of checking your credit card statements, also make a habit of checking your credit score. You will see exactly how your purchasing has affected you as well as any fraudulent purchases or lines of credit that have been added under your name. Free sites like are a perfect way to keep track of your credit whenever you’d like, and can end up saving you headaches and money in the long run.

Getting deals is great, being a victim of identity theft isn’t.

Online shopping is growing and we need to grow with it. Remember to monitor your credit regularly and research sites you’re buying from to make sure you’re safe. A little bit of research can go a long way in keeping yourself and your financial identity safe online.

As a leader in southeast Wisconsin data destruction and media degaussing we take keeping your information safe seriously. Contact us if you need help or advice to make sure you are maintaining the best practices to keep your information and identity safe.