Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.
With growing concerns over credit card fraud, many are wondering how to best protect themselves from scams.
With a few simple tips from experts, however, most shoppers can avoid the holiday headache.
Elizabeth McMullen loves to shop in downtown La Crosse, but said during the Holiday season, it’s difficult to avoid online shopping.
“You don’t have to fight the crowds,” said McMullen. “You can get things pretty fast, and it’s nice to just do it in your pajamas in your home.”
Like many others, McMullen said scammers can take out all of the holiday fun.
“It’s definitely become so easy to do it that you just have to be aware of what’s going on,” said McMullen.
A common tip for online holiday shopping is sticking to sites that a user is most familiar with.
“Make sure the site you are buying online is one that’s known, and one that you know and is reputable,” said Cheryl Dutton, vice president of marketing at Altra Federal Credit Union.
Once a user has found the perfect holiday gift, experts advise to look for further proof that a website is secure.
“One thing to look for is to make sure your payment information area is encrypted,” said Dutton. “Always look for the padlock symbol that’s usually at the bottom of the website, because then it’s a secure site.”
It’s advice McMullen has already been following.
“I actually only use online shopping that has a secure account, that I make sure I know what it is,” said McMullen. “If it doesn’t have that, I won’t shop there.”
Experts and shoppers agree, common sense is the best protection.
“If you see a deal on a site that seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said Dutton.
“You need to do your homework and make sure you use online correctly,” said McMullen.
In addition to those tips, experts advise having your devices to date on all the latest anti-virus software, to make sure your information is stored safely.