Cyber Monday is a big online shopping event which allows you to save money on electronics, housewares, appliances and other purchases. Shoppers in Hollywood and across South Florida will be looking at online sites and making big purchases on Cyber Monday.
Unfortunately, this big shopping experience can also extract fraudsters. To avoid becoming the victim of identity theft and fraud, be sure to follow these tips:
- Shop from reliable sites only. Look for reliable retailers who are well established and have a good track record in keeping personal information safe. Avoid retailers who set up the week of holiday sales and don’t have an established reputation for safety. Check online reviews and URLs to evaluate safety.
- Check encryption before you shop. Always make sure your browser indicates a website is safe and encrypted before you proceed. Read terms of service on the website and check that the website’s URL begins with the letters “https.” Some browsers may also indicate encrypted websites with a lock symbol. Get to know your browser so you understand how it indicates encrypted and safe websites.
- Update your computer before you shop. Make sure you have antivirus and anti-malware software installed. Look for titles that protect your identity as well as protecting you from viruses. Make sure that your computer has the latest safety patches and updates so fraudsters are less likely to take advantage of vulnerabilities on your system.
- Consider using credit card gift cards. If you’re concerned about online safety, prepaid credit card gift cards work just like your favorite credit cards but aren’t linked to your account. There are additional charges involved with using credit card gift cards, but you may find them an option if you’re shopping on sites you’re not entirely sure of. Even if fraudsters get a hold of the numbers of the gift cards, they won’t be able to steal more than the amount on the card.
- Check your credit card statements and get a copy of your credit report regularly. This is a good habit to get into, whether you’re shopping on Cyber Monday or not. Once a year at least, get a copy of your credit report and check for any errors or inconsistencies. Report any problems to credit bureaus at once and follow up to ensure the problem is handled. Similarly, check your bank and credit card statements at least weekly. If you notice any unauthorized charges or any suspicious activity, contact your bank and your police station to report fraud.
If you have been the victim of identity theft or hacking because of negligent encryption or online security from a retailer, speak to a products liability or premises liability attorney in Hollywood by contacting Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our legal team has more than six decades of combined experience and would be happy to help you explore your legal options if you have suffered damages or losses as a result of anyone’s negligence.