For many households in the United States and a few other countries, the month of November is important for just one reason - the Thanksgiving holiday. For most retailers however, the month of November has become the beginning of their most lucrative time of year. Retailers have created shopping holidays of their own: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both shopping days boast awesome deals, including amazing bargains on computers, software, and other items.
While Black Friday is a shopping event that shoppers take advantage of in person, Cyber Monday takes place online. As a rule, savvy shoppers get up in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line for Black Friday deals. They may (literally) wrestle with other shoppers for the deal they want most - usually only available in limited quantities anyway.
Cyber Monday allows shoppers to avoid the stress of Black Friday crowds. But shopping for the best deals online can be tricky. Cyber shoppers can also fall victim to scams which arguably are much more prevalent on this day than at any other time of the year. To keep your shopping experience fun and safe this year, consider a few suggestions:
- Comparison shop It's not just prudent in person. Comparison shopping online is actually a great deterrent to being scammed. Shoppers will be much less likely to jump at the first deal they see if they are well aware of their options. Various retailers will go out of their way to get you to spend your hard-earned money with them on Cyber Monday, so there are lots of bargains to choose from.
- Don't forget your discounts! Although you may alredy be purchasing a product at a significant discount, you might be able to save even more by using a coupon. Check the weekly circular in your local paper and look for coupons in your favorite magazines. You can also go directly to the source. Visit the websites where you plan to shop for discount codes or promos. Buy one, get one free and buy one get one half off are very popular promotions generally offered at this time.
Every year, I insist that if you forget everything else, remember these five rules for Cyber Monday:
- Don’t click any links or open any attachments in emails on Cyber Monday.
- Look for the secure indicators – https or the padlock icon BEFORE you type in any personal information in a web browser.
- Don’t use bookmarks or other links – just go directly to the source – the website itself on Cyber Monday.
- To ensure that your protection is updated before you shop, run your AV program after you finish reading this article.
- Today is NOT the day for visiting websites that you’ve never heard of.