Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online retailers with sales last year of almost $3.5 billion. It can also be a risky time for shoppers who could fall prey to scammers.
The National Retail Foundation found that almost half of Americans shop on Cyber Monday. On the same day, 64 percent of e-commerce organizations reported an increase in cybercrime.
Jeffrey Shafer with the University of the Pacific’s Cybersecurity Program said consumers need to take precautions such as avoiding pop-up adds on social media.
“Don’t click on the link if you’re at all unsure or suspicious about a particular deal if it seems to good to be true," Shafer said. "Instead, type the name of the store directly into your address bar and go to the site directly, and if you don’t see any mention of it, well maybe, it turns out that deal wasn’t actually legitimate at all.
He adds that a secure connection is also important, and that means not ordering online from free WiFi in hotels or coffee shops.
“It gives the attacker an additional leg up," he said. "We all have secure WiFi at home or place of business. Use those for your online purchases or online banking instead of your local coffee shop,” Shafer said.
Shafer said consumers need to monitor their credit card purchases and use different passwords for each website.