BBB Offers Cyber Monday Tips for Online Shoppers

December 2, 2013

While Friday was the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, online shopping takes center stage today.

Today is known as Cyber Monday and is one of the biggest days of the year for online shopping.

Northeast Georgia Better Business Bureau President Fred Elsberry said that Cyber Monday has actually replaced Black Friday as the most popular holiday shopping day.

However, shopping online can also pose some risks and Elsberry said those heading into cyberspace to shop should keep a number of things in mind.

First and foremost, Elsberry said online shoppers need to make sure they are going online securely.

“First of all, be sure your computer is up to date on its spam filters, its anti-virus, and anti-spyware software,” said Gambrell.  “Second, you want to shop on trustworthy websites.  You also want to protect your personal information so read the site’s privacy policy and understand what they are going to do with your information.”

Also, Elsberry said that when paying, online shoppers need to make sure they are paying at a secure site.

“The best way to do that is in the address up at the top, the ‘http’ has to have an ‘s’ behind it to indicate that it is a secured site,” said Elsberry.  “Then, as I mentioned with Black Friday, pay with a credit card because that is the best way if you have a dispute to be able to get your money back.  Obviously, keep a documentation of any orders that you make and check your credit card statements and make sure somebody has not hacked in and is using your credit card.”

Elsberry also encouraged online shoppers to watch out for what are known as “phishing” e-mails.

“These are simply e-mails that come trying to get your personal information and just know that legitimate businesses are not going to send you e-mails trying to get your account information,” said Elsberry.

Finally, Elsberry said online shoppers need to know their rights.

“Federal law requires that orders made by mail or online have to be shipped by the date promised or if they have not promised a date, within 30 days, and if that has not happened, you have a right to cancel your order,” said Elsberry.

He also said that if an online deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more consumer tips and information, go online to www.bbb.org.

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