'Cyber Monday' shopping tips | News
The Monday after ‘Black Friday’ is sometimes called Cyber Monday, traditionally one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Many shoppers take advantage of retailers selling items over the internet at sometimes greatly discounted prices.
Consumers are encouraged to be aware of bargain advertisements that are sent via an unsolicited e-mail.
According to the National Domestic Preparedness Coalition, fraud artists often use the hot, or most wanted items of the holiday season to lure bargain shoppers to use their credit cards and other personal information.
The National Domestic Preparedness Coalition is offering the following tips to help protect consumers while they shop in ‘cyber space’:
- Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of a link from an unsolicited e-mail. This includes forwarded messages from someone on your contact list.
- If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and keep up with the security updates to prevent viruses and malicious programs from infecting your computer.
- If you suspect your computer has a virus, have it serviced immediately from a trusted source.
- Make purchases using websites with secure connections. Look for websites that use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security which protects your personal information. Check the browser’s status bar for an unbroken “padlock” icon that indicates the sites is using SSL.
- Use your credit card instead of debit card when making a purchase. Credit cards offer added protection from fraudulent transactions.
- Avoid using websites asking for an “electronic check”. This will require you provide your bank routing number and your entire checking account number.
- Never use your Social Security Number to make online purchases. A legitimate retailer or website will never ask for your Social Security Number.
- Use passwords that are difficult to decipher. A strong password should be 8 to 14 characters in length, with alphanumeric and special characters. Your login name and password should never be the same.
- For more information on how to safely shop online, please visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center website at: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. You may also find valuable information by visiting the FBI.gov E-scams and Warnings webpage at: http://www.fbi.gov/cyberinvest/escams.htm
If you have any questions about the provided information, please do not hesitate to contact The University of Arizona Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at (520) 621-4219