Get Ready For Cyber Monday 2014!
Cyber Monday is always one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. But before you click “buy”, make sure to check out these tips first – they could save you a holiday headache!
- Make sure the payment site is secured. In your browser’s address bar, check that it says “https” rather than just “http” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Some browsers also add a little lock icon to make this easier to read – check for this in the top left corner of the window.
What this means is that the connection is encrypted – in other words, the information you send will be coded, so anyone intercepting it won’t be able to read it.
- Double-check your shipping dates. What may seem like a great deal can end up being a disappointment if it doesn’t arrive until the New Year. Many sites are upfront about what shipping methods you’ll have to select for Christmas delivery, but some sites pair their “great deals” with highly inflated shipping and handling rates. Make sure to check the delivery guarantees – and if you’re not shopping for Christmas gifts, don’t pay extra on shipping if you don’t need to.
- Use varying passwords. When creating accounts on multiple sites you’re not sure you’ll use again, it’s very tempting to reuse an ID/password combination. However, if one site is compromised, all sites with the same password are as well.
One way to get around this is to incorporate the site name or something specific about the site into your password. For example, let’s say your password is always “password123” (not a good choice, by the way). If you’re creating an account for a shoe store, it’s a bit safer to make it something like “password_shoes_123”. Easy to remember for you, and less useful to an automated cracking program.
- You don’t have to save card info. Again, if you’re ordering from a site you’re not sure you’ll ever be using again, there’s usually a way to check out as a “guest”. This both prevents the password issue discussed earlier, and prevents your card info from being tied to an account.
Entering in credit card data usually only takes a minute or two – a small amount of extra work if you do end up making a repeat purchase.
- Read all the details! Everyone knows that if it’s too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. But sometimes even not-so-great things turn out worse than you’d assume. Take, for instance, people paying more than retail price for the newest video game systems on eBay. Except instead of buying a system, they’d missed the fine print where the seller explained the auction was for a photograph of the system.
Naturally, eBay determined that these auctions were fraudulent… but it probably made for a disappointing holiday nonetheless. Double-check the details, especially on any auction or resale site.