Tips to protect yourself online this Cyber Monday

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Between social media and apps, Cyber Monday is a whole new game for online shoppers.

Karl Brooks's job, with the Best Buy Geek Squad, is to protect people from predators and viruses.

"The hackers and people who create these viruses pretty much target days like this because they know there's going to be higher traffic on sites," Brooks said.

His first tip is to know that the site you're shopping on is legitimate, by looking at accreditations.

"If you ever go to a website and it kind of looks fishy, you can go to the address bar and it'll have 'https' before the 'www.' whatever the website is," Brooks said.

Brooks says using your phone or tablet's cellular data to shop on retail apps is fairly secure.

"Companies like AT&T, Sprint, they do a pretty good job locking in one device per phone number, so that's a pretty secure way," Brooks said.

But there are concerns when shopping on your phone or device. Brooks says if your GPS is turned on, and you share what you're buying where on social media, predators can take advantage of that information.

"If they know you just bought a big screen TV, they can now go to your house and within a couple feet, know exactly where that TV is located, so there's a lot more threats out there nowadays," Brooks said.

Brooks suggests using a pre-paid gift card that's not directly linked to your bank account.

"Like VISA cards, MasterCards; you can load a pre-set amount of money to it and it's not tied to any bank account necessarily," Brooks said.

But his number one tip is to trust your intuition.

"Just general if it looks too good to be true, it probably is," Brooks said.


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