Internet Do’s and Don’ts Ahead of Cyber Monday

DES MOINES, Iowa — The National Retail Federation anticipates 75 – million Americans will snag deep discounts on Cyber Monday but cyber security experts warn of the risks of online shopping.

Local experts realize it’s easy for online shoppers to get caught up in the deals but urge shoppers to slow down. They say you should be on the lookout for phony URL’s, misspellings in promotional deals and phishing emails.

“It’s email based scamming basically. It;s when someone sends you an email and pretends to be someone legitimate and asks you for your personal information and it usually comes with a sense of urgency,” says Principal Financial Group Cyber Security Analyst Antoinette Stevens. “On Cyber Monday that will look like, ‘We have this great sale. It ends in x – amount of hours or days you have to click this button now.”

Stevens says consumers should ignore those emails and go to the retailer’s website directly instead of clicking the link in the email to avoid any data breaches or scams. She says it’s crucial to be hyper – vigilant when it comes to online shopping.

“You wouldn’t walk into any random sketchy store on the street and swipe your card. You shouldn’t do that online either. You should be vigilant and know where your money is going.”

Stevens reminds consumers should also check their bank statements after making several online purchases to make sure there is no suspicious activity.