Cyber Monday is a tradition. Every year we prep ourselves up for indulging in the biggest shopping festival of the year. The online counterpart of Black Friday is Cyber Monday. Rather than standing in long queues and breathlessly running in between the aisles to pick the right deal – sit at home and get your things delivered at your doorstep. Shop like a boss and protect yourself from scams by shopping the right way.⭐Personal Finance⭐Money Management

The shopping season is a lucrative period for shoppers, retailers and equally for cybercriminals. Right before a few weeks, your mailbox will be flooded with emails from every possible retailer. Everyone will try to pitch in their discounted items at the sale. While browsing through these emails, it is a possibility that you may come across bogus shopping websites. There is a chance that you will be contacted by online scammers and fraudsters. Shoppers often complain about how the website looked completely legit but their credit card information was compromised. Save yourself from identity theft this Cyber Monday 2020 with our 5 tips curated to help you create a safe shopping experience.

1. Use an updated browser

If you are using an outdated version of the web browser, it is more likely to be compromised in terms of security vulnerabilities. Any personal information that you share using an outdated browser may be stolen by cybercriminals. According to Action Fraud (UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime), 16,532 people fell victim to cybercriminals while shopping online during the nationwide lockdown.

Also, using an outdated web browser can trap you as a “middle man”. Without your permission and knowledge, thousands of emails could be sent to people – which will be a legal concern for you later on.

2. Check for HTTPS

Whenever you are visiting a website, ensure that the web address contains “HTTPS” and not “HTTP”. The “S” in the web address indicates that the website is secure and you can safely input your personal information. All the information that you provide will be encoded – that means it will not be visible to the potential hackers who might steal it. If a website doesn’t have an “S”, then the website is not encrypted. Entering your personal information may jeopardize your financial security.

Also, check for the “padlock” symbol. This symbol indicates that any communication between the browser and the server is encrypted. In short, the websites that you use must SSL protocols in place to avoid any possibility of scams.

3. Read the privacy policy

Every website or eCommerce website has its privacy policy, which is open for the visitors. Ensure that you read the privacy policy before hopping on to browsing the endless items available for sale. Going through the privacy policy will help you understand how your personal data can/will be used by the web owner.

You will get an idea of what personal information is collected and who can access the data that you provide.

4. Create strong passwords

To become less vulnerable to identity thefts, create strong passwords. When you are given an option to create passwords, you may find the meter that tells you how strong is the password that you have just entered.

Rather than using a password that has only numbers or say a combination of numbers and letters – choose an alphanumeric password. Keep updating your passwords regularly and make it a habit of not using the same password for multiple websites.

5. Identify phishing emails

The holiday season brings in a lot of emails. Advertisers and retailers keep on sending numerous emails promoting their store or products. Some emails may contain links that could send you off to suspicious websites.

Identify the phishing emails. Such emails may contain many grammatical or typographical errors. Some fraudsters may go one step ahead by asking you to “verify” your confidential information by clicking on a link. Do not respond to such emails and report it to Action Fraud immediately if you think it’s a scam.

How to shop on Cyber Monday without splurging?

Did you end up with a popcorn maker and regretted buying it later? What about that unused toaster that you thought is a good deal when making a purchase? We are so tempted to pick everything up that we often overspend.

Plan well ahead before you sit down to start your online shopping. Creating a list of items that you are planning to buy will help you stay on track. Avoid getting distracted and you will save a lot of money in your shopping spree. For example, create a list on Friday and research on the items that you have listed. Weigh the pros and cons and find out if there is already an alternative available at your place. Filter out your list and sit with the list on Sunday evening. Go through the particulars again and repeat the filtering process.

You may find hundreds of websites that provide you with a platform to compare before you buy. Suppose, retailer A has marked a price on item X, you may find other retailers quoting a lower price on item X. Also, keep an eye on the promotional newsletters for promo codes and discounts some stores offer for their special customer base.

In conclusion…

We’re all waiting to splurge on Cyber Monday, but slashing your bills shouldn’t come at a price. So be wary of those shams on the internet, hiding under the veil of ‘special discounts’. A safe shopper is a happy shopper!

Create a shopping plan with a list of items that you’re planning on buying along with the cost of each item. It is good practice to segregate your shopping list to separate essential and non-essential items. Allocate some money to Cyber Monday shopping in your budget and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to buy more than what you can afford.

If you fear missing out on some great deals due to financial constraints, let us help you. Visit LoanTube to compare loans rate locked loans from multiple lenders to find your ideal personal loan. Happy shopping!