Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day of the year for American retail, but an increase in internet usage has led more and more shoppers to become inclined towards online shopping.
According to Abbe E. Forman, assistant professor of Computer and Information Science at Temple University, "Cyber Monday," the first Monday following Black Friday, has become just as important to both shoppers and retailers, and is considered the "official" start of the online holiday shopping season.
"Online shopping has become so popular that it now accounts for nearly half of all holiday shopping," said Forman, an expert in online security.
"While online shopping is easy, convenient, and fun, security concerns still keep many folks away. Even savvy online shoppers should take a few extra moments to ensure their online safety so that their shopping experience is the best that it can be."
Forman has also recommended a few steps that shoppers take to protect themselves while shopping online this holiday season.
“Keep an eye out for scams; everyone loves a good sale, but if something looks too good to be true, it probably is,” she said.
When considering a purchase from an unfamiliar retailer, Forman has suggested doing some homework before “clicking” for purchase.
“Google them and see what other folks have said about their shopping experience with that company.”
Also, Forman has warned not to give out any personal information prior to making any decision to purchase.
“You should be able to peruse a website without giving any information. If an online retailer wants info prior to a transaction, it’s a red flag.”
“It is a good idea to look for and read company privacy policies.”
“Find out what a company does with your personal information. You can also look for emblems associated with the Better Business Bureau online, VeriSign, and/or TRUSTe. These emblems tell you that the retailer is trusted and meets the standards necessary for these certifications,” she added.