Black Friday and Cyber Monday are America’s two biggest shopping days. They come on the heels of Thanksgiving Day and offer some of the lowest retail prices of the year. Black Friday used to carry the weekend as people flocked to retail stores—often long before sunrise—to snag the best deals. Online shopping sales are increasing at a much faster pace than brick-and-mortar sales, however, and Cyber Monday is quickly becoming a leader in revenues.
As a business and a consumer, we at Electronic Manufacturing Services offer the following tips to help you navigate the online shopping experience of Cyber Monday.
- Shop online from legitimate stores only. If you have reservations about a site’s credibility, do not order from them—no matter how deep their discounts are.
- Check out the reputation of the online store. Read the customers’ reviews to find out what complaints may have been lodged against the retailer.
- Use two-factor authentication when ordering online, and pick challenging passwords.
- Beware of websites that ask you to install software before you shop.
- Do not use free public Wi-Fi when making purchases. This could make you vulnerable to hackers who may gain access to your personal and financial information.
- Turn off your location services when you shop online. This will minimize the chance that your personal data could be compromised.
- Double check the validity of the SSL certificate of the website you are visiting, especially when you are going to place an order.
- Only share your credit card and other information on secure shopping portals.
- If you are visiting a website for a certain brand, make sure that you find the real thing. The dark side of the web is full of fake websites that purport to represent popular brands.
As a general rule, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Great discounts abound on Cyber Monday—just be careful in tracking them down.