How to protect your personal information on Cyber Monday

It’s less than six hours from one of the biggest online shopping days of the year — Cyber Monday

While it’s a good day to hunt out some good deals online, online scammers will also try to hunt for people vulnerable to their scams.

We looked at what online shoppers can do to prevent falling victim to potential scams while they look for holiday gifts for their loved ones.

“I get everything I need; it’s very convenient,” Phil Lipscomb said. “Save a lot of money on gas and time and waiting in line.”

John Majewski said he’s always using the web for his online purchases.

“I’m a total eBay or Amazon person, and I’ve never had any kind of problems,” Majewski said.

Other people we spoke to would rather avoid the chance of scams on heightened online shopping days such as Cyber Monday.

“I’m a brick-and-mortar person, and I realize the ship has left the dock,” Vici Taus said. “I understand that.”

Despite potential for online scammers preying on shoppers, Cyber Monday is quickly becoming one of the biggest days of the year for online retailers.

For many shoppers, the best part about Cyber Monday is the ability to shop from endless amounts of retailers right from a device.

“The biggest thing you need to look out for is scammers that are sending you emails that have to do with certain companies that are not the company that you expect,” said Eugene Hoyt, an FGCU cybersecurity expert.

Hoyt told us there are two main things online shoppers should do to stay safe on Cyber Monday.

  • Install a virus protection software on personal computers
  • Look out for insecure websites

“If it says not secure, you do not want to put any of the information on that site at all,” Hoyt said.

It’s also important to shop using a secure internet browser that’s familiar.

“Google Chrome is the most secure that I’ve seen in a very long time,” Hoyt said.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging online shoppers to check for reviews about online retailers before making a purchase. HCSO also recommends not connecting to public Wi-Fi while shopping on a personal device. That helps to prevent hackers from getting personal information.

Above all, it’s important to pay attention to anything that seems out of the ordinary.

“Just have to be aware of your surroundings even on the internet, just like if you went to a mall,” Hoyt said.

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Check out the map below to see cyberthreats around the world in real-time.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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