5 tips to safer online shopping
Cyber Monday awaits. If you're planning to shop online this year, here's how to stay safe.
Well, most Americans still believe nothing beats shopping in person.
"Consumers not only think Black Friday has the best deals, but they also plan to put their beliefs into action and shop on Black Friday," said shopping site PriceGrabber, which recently conducted a Black Friday shopping survey. This was the key finding:
Sixty-one percent of consumers said they believe Thanksgiving weekend has the best shopping deals compared with the rest of the holiday season. Of this 61%, 86% believe the best deals are found on Black Friday. Cyber Monday came in a distant second, with 33%.
Make no mistake: Online holiday shopping continues to grow, but so do the concerns about it. Another new poll, this one by the National Cyber Security Alliance, says, "As the holiday shopping season and Cyber Monday approaches, a growing majority of Americans -- 64% -- report they have not made an online purchase from a specific website because of security concerns." Post continues after video.
If there's any surprise in this survey, it's that this number is so low: 48% have "felt a website requested more information than was necessary for the transaction." So NCSA offers this advice so you don’t get Scrooged this holiday season:
- Keep a clean machine: Check to make sure that all software -- especially security, Web browsers and operating systems -- are up-to-date and set to update automatically.
- Protect your personal information: When opening new accounts, use long and strong passwords. Don't provide any of that "optional" information.
- Connect with care: When shopping, check to be sure a website is security enabled. Look for Web addresses with https:// or shttp:// -- which means the site takes extra steps to secure your information during financial transactions.
- Be wary: Cyber crooks will try to get you to click through to deals that may seem too good to be true. They'll also try to trick you by sending e-mails that say something has gone wrong with an online purchase.
- Be Web wise: If you've never bought something from an online merchant before, research that seller first. Search to see how others have rated them, and check their reviews. In fact, it's a smart idea to do that research even if you're a returning customer who's been away for a while -- because reputations can change.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
A Fidelity study found that adult kids and their folks aren't on the same page when it comes to discussing finances.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'